For middleweight Jordan Williams, 2018 is a year told in two halves.
Following back-to-back wins to kick off his 2018 for Dragon House and Bellator, Williams spent the second half of the year on suspension due to a positive test for marijuana following his June victory over Tim Caron at Dana White’s Contender Series.
“Last year I had my first fight coming off of a two year layoff, and in that fight before the layoff I was knocked out, so I basically spent two years trying to get back into the cage physically and mentally,” Williams told MMAWeekly.com. “(In my first fight back) I ended up knocking that guy out in the first round. (Then) I fought an undefeated fighter and knocked him out in the second round.
“Then I got a call for a five days’ notice to fight in The Contender Series, and I ended up winning that fight with a third round TKO. I ended up having a suspension from the State Athletic Commission for the use of marijuana. My suspension is up, and that’s where we are at here right now.”
Rather than sit back during his suspension, Williams continued to push himself and develop his game.
“I always had the drive to get back in there no matter what,” said Williams. “I’m always training to stay ready. Even though I had time out, I was still training pretty religiously throughout that whole time period.”
On April 27 in San Jose, Calif., Williams (7-2) will look to kick off his 2019 in strong fashion when he faces Diego Herzog (4-2-1) in a Bellator 220 middleweight preliminary bout.
“I feel like I have better striking and better wrestling and jiu-jitsu background,” Williams said. “In a fight anything can happen, but I feel like if I wanted to force the knockout and keep it standing, I could. I feel like that could be an option for me, even if I forced it. But I can take the fight where I want it and it’s going to end how I want it to end.”
When it comes to the remainder of 2019, Williams just wants to focus on fighting and leave the rest of the rest up to the team around him.
“I like to take it fight by fight,” said Williams. “Management has already given me the heads up that if this fight goes my way they already have other fights lined up. So I just need to keep going how I’m going and get this W.”