Though inconsistency might have plagued lightweight Harvey Park’s 2018, he nonetheless feels like it was a productive year.
Following a loss to Austin Hubbard at LFA 39in May, Park had a few fights fall through before returning to action in November with a unanimous decision victory over Le’Ville Simpson at LFA 53 to close out the year.
“It was a good year,” Park told MMAWeekly.com. “The one loss was close, and a lot of people scored it for me, but it was so close that I wasn’t too concerned with it because it wasn’t a bad showing. It was a good year for me; more exposure with bigger fights; and we’re just trying to keep going in that direction.”
One of the things Park felt like he made the most progress in was his maturation as a fighter and better understanding the side of the sport that isn’t focused solely on technical skills.
“I started MMA as a blank slate,” said Park. “Some people have a discipline and they learn the rest, but I learned it all at once. The evolution of everything has kind of evolved at the same speed.
“It’s the little things that are coming around; experience, bigger fights, learning different tricks, the travel accommodations when travelling further from home; just small things like that.”
On Friday in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Park (10-2) will look to build a winning streak when he takes on Jaleel Willis (9-1) in the LFA 58 lightweight main event.
“I’m usually the bigger guy, so this might be the first time someone is bigger than me,” said Park of Willis. “I think his game plan is going to get me tired, he’s going to want to do a lot of wrestling, so it’s come down to cardio and wrestling.
“I think he’s going to be able to get me tired, he might be able to have a shot, but what I think is going to happen is he’s going to try to take me down, to take me down, and he’s going to get worn out, then he’s going to have to stand with me.”
Looking ahead to 2019, there are a few things Park would like to accomplish. Starting with a good performance on January 25, Park feels like he could make a lot of headway towards making those goals a reality.
“I want to be in the UFC before the end of the year or put that LFA belt around my waist,” said Park. “I want to do one of the two, if not both.
“I’m getting a lot of attention. I’ve got a good record. One good fight I could get signed. I don’t have one thing that I say has to happen for me, but I’m just going to seize opportunities when they present themselves.”