For bantamweight Kevin Natividad, 2018 was a year in which change made all the difference.
Coming off a loss in his final bout of 2017, Natividad made alterations which in turn allowed him to rebound in 2018 with three straight victories.
“What I did differently that year from previous years, because I kind of changed up how I looked at everything,” Natividad told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve been a bit more focused. It was some success, I think.
“I feel like I could have done better, but I’m not disappointed how I fought. Especially my last fight, it looked a lot better on video than how I imagined it in my head. There’s still a lot that people haven’t seen that I haven’t done yet.”
As Natividad notes, it was his first round TKO loss to Glen Baker at LFA 24 in October of 2017 that was the catalyst for his changes.
“I’m not saying that I underestimated (Baker), but a lot of people were telling me he was the kind of guy that I could beat,” said Natividad. “I wasn’t overlooking him, but I let that get in my head.
“Like any fight it can just take one big shot. After that I decided for every single fight I’m not going to overlook anything like that again.”
At LFA 59 this Friday in Phoenix, Arizona, Natividad (7-1) will look to pick up his fourth straight win when he faces Andy Perez (9-7) in a main card 135-pound bout.
“For one thing I feel Andy is very tough,” Natividad said. “If he makes weight he’ll pretty much have fought in every weight class 135 pounds and up. I know he’s going to be big. I’m expecting him to be strong.
“He’s really wild when it comes to striking. I think what I’m going to have to do is take control and not let it turn into a dogfight. I have to play a little bit more of a precise game. I have to be quick. I think, honestly, I might be better both on the ground and on the feet, but we’ll see.”
Having built winning streaks before and seemingly was on the verge of moving to the next level only to suffer a setback Natividad is taking things a bit more slowly this time around.
“Right now I’m not rushing anything,” said Natividad. “I want to take it one fight at a time and not overlook anyone. Whether it’s going through the Contender Series or the LFA, I just want to take it one fight at a time.”
LFA airs on AXS TV Fridays at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.