After closing out his 2018 undefeated, bantamweight prospect Hunter Azure was looking to keep his momentum going as he entered his 2019 campaign.
So far over the first half of this year, Azure has managed just that, going undefeated in two bouts in 2019, and raising his career starting winning streak to six victories in a row.
“It’s been great,” Azure told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve been busy. I had a fight right away in February and then right away again on May 10. I’ve been busy working at the gym, just preparing for these next steps and the big stage.”
Since turning pro nearly two years ago, Azure feels he’s made good strides with his game but has yet to show his true potential in his bouts.
“I’m still learning and growing each time in the cage,” said Azure. “I’m still not happy with my performances yet, but I know that’s going to come with more experience.
“The big thing for me this year was just getting cage time and making it more comfortable and natural in there. I have a ton of wrestling experience, but for stand-up and striking I just need to be in there to kind of let my hands go more and be more confident with my hands.”
On July 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Azure (6-0) will look to keep his winning ways going when he faces Chris Ocon (4-0) in a main card 135-pound at Dana White’s Contender Series.
“He’s more of a boxer, stand-up guy, but I’ve developed and gotten much better with my striking, so I’m not afraid to strike with people either,” Azure said of Ocon. “I don’t think he’s fought anyone as big as me or with as much experience. He defiantly hasn’t fought someone with the wrestling I have.
“I think his best option is to keep it on his feet, but once I’ve put him on his butt a few times, taking him down and grinding on him, I think he’ll be more cautious after that, and my game plan will play right out. I see myself finishing him.”
With other fighters jostling for the chance at a UFC contract, standing out from the other winners is important, but Azure isn’t going to force anything in order to do that.
“I’m not too worried about it,” said Azure. “I just think I need to go out there and fight how I know I’m capable of doing. I’ve just got to put on an exciting show.
“No dancing around, just make it a fight for 15 minutes or 30 seconds, whatever it has to be. As long as I be me I should get picked up for that contract that night.”