For Levi Mowles, 2019 was supposed to have been a busy year, but when all was said and done he only managed to get in two fights.
After defeating Ahmet Kayretli at LFA 62 in March, Mowles missed the next nine months of the year recovering from an injury sustained in the fight.
“At the start of it I thought I was going to be a lot more active, but in the middle of (the fight with Kayretli) I broke my hand and that kind of threw a snowball into it,” Mowles told MMAWeeekly.com. “It was hard to train and hard to do anything.
“I was in recovery trying to rehab my hand and get it back to strength. It took a better half of the rest of the year to do it. It was a slow year for me, and it didn’t exactly go how I wanted, but we made the best of a bad situation.”
Mowles was able to return in December and pick up a victory over Brandon Pate at Fury FC 41, but admittedly he was a bit cautious when it came to using his hand in the fight.
“There’s always that lingering feeling in the back of your mind,” said Mowles. “But I trusted in my training and my coaches, and during training I felt fine hitting mitts and hitting the bag, so everything was good and I went out and let everything go.
“I know it’s going to be there and something I’m going to have to lookout for, but as long as my being cautious and paying attention to what I’m doing and training correctly it shouldn’t be a problem.”
On Saturday in Marksville, La., Mowles (12-4) will look to pick up his third straight win when he faces Carlos Vera (8-2) in the 135-pound championship main event of Atlas Fights 38.
“He’s a tough guy,” Mowles said of Vera. “He’s a gamer. I’ve watched a bunch of his fights. He likes standing exchanges and lots of spinning kicks and stuff like that. I just think I’m grittier, I think I’ve been doing it longer, and I think I’m better, and I’m going to go out and prove it.”
Now that he’s back healthy, Mowles wants to work his way to the next level in 2020.
“I always have a goal in mind, and that goal is the big leagues,” said Mowles. “Even if that dream doesn’t happen this year, my other goal is to get in five or six fights this year.
“I always try to take it one fight at a time, just try to keep it in focus, but it’s always big picture and pushing towards the biggest goal I can get. I want to get more fights, get more wins, and hopefully get noticed by the big leagues.”