In is most win in September of last year, heavyweight prospect Jared Vanderaa had a bout that was very similar to his previous four. Early on, Vanderaa was able to use his power to quickly overcome his opponent, Sean Johnson, and pick up another first round win.
“That one was a really quick fight,” Vanderaa told MMAWeekly.com. “I feel like my performance on tape looks good, but personally I thought I could have done better, but I saw an opening and I ran with it. That’s how I got the win in that case.”
After an amateur career filled with ups and downs, what has made a big impact on Vanderaa’s pro career has been hasn’t been an overhaul of his game, but rather the culminate effects of minor tweaks he’s made over time.
“I feel like I’ve grown up a lot in the sport, but it’s not because of drastic changes or anything like that, it’s the minor adjustments to my game,” said Vanderaa. “I’m a firm believer in that no matter how good I am, I need to train to be better. The small things that I mess up, I try to make sure I don’t make those mistakes again.”
TRENDING > In Defense of Conor McGregor
Vanderaa (5-0) makes his Legacy Fighting Alliance debut against veteran Richard Odoms (12-3) in a heavyweight championship main event on Friday in Shawnee, Okla.
“(Odoms) might be my tallest opponent, but he has very similar reach to mine,” Vanderaa said. “My last opponent had similar reach too. I have guys who are just as big – or bigger than Richard and myself – that are there helping me. I’m not too worried.
“Richard has the same thing I have – heavyweight power. When you get hit by us, you’re going to feel it. If you get clipped, you’re going to sleep. I’ve got to make sure that I have the movement, the avoidance to not get hit by punches like that. If I’m able to tire him out and let him eat a bunch of punches that would be the best thing for me.”
For Vanderaa, winning the LFA title is important, but more so crucial is that it allows him to take a step towards the next level of his career.
“To be honest, I’m honored that LFA gave me this title shot,” said Vanderaa. “I’m grateful, but at the same time, it’s a stepping stone.
“We both know the bigger goal is the UFC and that title. Me and Richard both understand that this title is a well-respected title and the LFA is a well-respected place, but it is a stepping stone for getting into the bigger shows.”