Looking back on his February third round TKO win over Sua Tuani at Reign FC 3, light-heavyweight prospect Dylan Potter admits he did the one thing he wasn’t supposed to do, but managed to come away with the victory anyway.
Knowing that Tuani’s strength lay in his aggressive stand-up style, Potter decided to engage his opponent there, and ultimately came out with the win.
“I strayed away from my game plan a little bit just because I was having so much fun in there brawling with (Tuani),” Potter told MMAWeekly.com. “The one thing everybody said was not to brawl with him, but I got in there and I felt comfortable and wanted to beat him at his own game.
“I like going in there and knowing if they’re good at something, I want to be better at it. It felt good to get a win. It felt good to get that belt. I trained hard for the fight and I’m happy with the results.”
Potter’s increased work in training came from the realization that if he didn’t take fighting as seriously as possible that he was never going to make it to the level he aspires to be at.
“I turned pro when I was 20 and was really still a kid; physically, mentally, my maturity level wasn’t where it’s at (now),” said Potter. “I’ve done a lot of growing and a lot of figuring out what I need to do to be at the level I want to be at.
“My first couple wins I didn’t take my training seriously and didn’t fully prepare for them. I didn’t fully realize that until a couple fights ago when I lost my fifth and sixth pro fight back-to-back. That’s when I decide I needed to buckle down and train hard. It’s really showed and I won’t go into another fight unprepared.”
On Saturday in Tacoma, Wash., Potter (7-4) will look to defeat Tuani (3-2) for a second straight time when the two meet in the 205-pound championship main event of CageSport 56.
“(Tuani) is the one who wanted to fight again,” Potter said. “I’m always down to fight anyone, but he was the one who came forward and was asking for a rematch. I’m expecting him to train harder. I’m expecting him to get better. I’m expecting him to come at me better than he was before.
“I’ve looked at (the first fight). I’ve re-evaluated it. I’ve seen a couple of things I did wrong that I cleaned up. He may have gotten better, but I’m getting better as well, and I’m looking forward to the rematch.”
For Potter, adding another title to his collection is just the next step in making his way to the biggest stages of MMA, which he hopes to accomplish by the end of 2019.
“In 2019 I want to beat the best people in the area. I want to look at anyone who is above me in the rankings or who holds a belt, and I want to take those belts and become number one again and get signed,” said Potter.
“After April 27, I’ll have won three of my last four fights, all title fights, and looking to take belts and take rankings and get signed.”