Though he didn’t have the kind of start off to 2019 that he would have liked, featherweight Dylan Lockard managed to have a strong performance when he finally had his first bout of the year.
Facing Jesse Erickson at NEF 39 in June, Lockard was able to pick up a TKO win just 75 seconds into the fight and pick up a championship in the process.
“I had a rough start to the year trying to get fights,” Lockard told MMAWeekly.com. “I had a couple fights lined up, and people got injured, I had people pull out, and like three fights fall through.
“I was a little discouraged, and then that opportunity popped up to step in and fight for the title against Jesse. I stepped on it and it went perfect. It was a first round TKO, so it couldn’t have gone any better.”
Though his lack of fights during the first half of 2019 was frustrating for Lockard, he was able to use his time away from the cage and improve his game.
“I was getting a little discouraged, and I had to just tell myself I’d fight again eventually, and I’ve got to be ready when that opportunity comes; so I kept training hard, stayed in shape and was ready for anything,” said Lockard.
“I think although it sucks to not fight for a while, it was good for me in the long run because I did a lot of training and was basically in camp from January until June and got a lot better in that time.”
On Tuesday in Las Vegas, Lockard (6-1) will look to keep his winning ways going when he faces TJ Brown (13-6) in a featherweight bout at Dana White’s Contender Series 2019, Week 10.
“TJ is a tough guy,” Lockard said. “He’s got a lot of experience. He’s fought some good competition.
“I think we match up pretty well. We have similar styles. He’s well rounded and I’m well rounded. But I think I’m just a little bit better than he is. I think the longer the fight goes the better it will be for me.”
With other fighters looking to win a UFC contract with victories on Dana White’s Contender Series, Lockard knows he has to stand out from the rest, and luckily he doesn’t feel he has to change styles in order to do that.
“It’s a tricky situation because they’re looking for finishes and guys who go out there and really go after it, but at the same time it’s a fight and I’ve got to be careful,” said Lockard.
“Ultimately, I don’t think I have to change too much because my style of fighting is going to be good for the show. I’m aggressive and I like to go for the finish anyway, so I don’t think I have to change much.”