Having showcased his wrestling over the course of the first three years of his career, to be able to showcase his development with other aspects of his game is a big thing for Bellator middleweight Johnny Eblen.
In Eblen’s most recent bout, a first round TKO of Daniel Madrid in May at Bellator 258, he was able to prove that there is more to his game than just wrestling.
“I feel like I did pretty well,” Eblen told MMAWeekly.com. “I showed that this wrestler can finally strike or is comfortable with his striking.
“It’s nice to kind of show that I can get a finish like that in the first round, especially a knockout. It’s good for me, and it’s good for the fans that are watching and is more exciting to watch. Hopefully I can reproduce that again.”
Not only is Eblen pleased with how his fight game has grown, he’s also made an effort to make his life outside the cage as positive as it can be as well.
“I feel like I’ve been evolving as a human as a whole,” said Eblen. “I’ve been making adjustments with my lifestyle and how I train, how I think about training, and how I think about everyday habits in general.
“I still have to make more adjustments, but for this year I’ve made a lot of changes in my life for the better and you can definitely tell it’s transferring over to my performances.”
This Friday in Uncasville, Connecticut, Eblen (8-0) will look to reproduce his success from earlier this year when he takes on Travis Davis (10-4) in a main card 185-pound bout at Bellator 262.
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“I’ve got to go out, have fun, and be myself,” Eblen said. “Just do what I’ve been doing all training camp and just put it on (Davis).
“I think what you have to do is go out there and let things play out and be okay with it, and be relaxed in situations during the fight and not worry too much about the outcome. I try to train in all situations; I train in good situations and I train in bad situations; I just try to make sure when I show up on fight night I’m prepared for anything that happens.”
While allowing things to play out and adjusting to them is a big part of Eblen’s fight strategy, it also applies in doses to his career, but he does acknowledge that planning the route he takes is also important.
“It’s little bit of a balance when it comes to that; it’s a longer-paced thing when it comes to that stuff,” said Eblen. “If you have time on your side you can kind of plan things out. I like to set some things in motion to where I can make things happen in a certain timeframe.
“I wouldn’t say I like to force things necessarily; I’ll let things play out, but I’ll set things in motion to get things done.”