Mike Shipman expecting fireworks against Hracho Darpinyan at Bellator 218

March 18, 2019

When it comes to his 2018, middleweight Mike Shipman wasn’t as active as he would have liked, but is nonetheless happy with how the year turned out overall.

Much like he had the previous four years, Shipman closed out his 2018 undefeated, raising his current winning streak to 13 straight victories following his lone loss in his pro debut.

“I was hoping to get three or four fights out that year, but I was very happy with the two that I did get,” Shipman told MMAWeekly.com. “Carl Noon was the first fight on this contract with Bellator. I got bumped up to the main card because of an injury. I feel like I fully took of that opportunity to get on the big stage.

“Scott Futrell I felt like was a good performance, but I feel like I rushed aspects of that fight a little too much. It wasn’t as clean obviously as a 10-second knockout (like Noon was), but it gave me more of a learning opportunity in that fight.”

With just over three minutes total of cage time across both his wins last year, Shipman more gauges his progress in training and making sure his pre-fight preparation can be as good as possible.

“I see enough in training that I know what works and what doesn’t work,” said Shipman. “The important thing for me more is the preparation for the fight and making sure we get the weight cut right. And also getting my mentality correct, so when I walk under those lights I can perform how I train.”

On Friday in Thackerville, Oklahoma, Shipman (13-1) will look to add to his winning streak when he faces Hracho Darpinyan (17-8-2) in a main card 185-pound bout at Bellator 218.

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“He’s a powerful, aggressive, come-forward, fighter, so it’s going to be fireworks,” Shipman said of Darpinyan. “I’m also a powerful striker and a finisher. It’s going to be an exciting fight. With all respect to him, I think I’m better in every area, so I see myself finishing him in the first couple rounds.”

For Shipman, the main goal for 2019 is to continue to face increasingly difficult opposition and position himself as a fulltime main card attraction for Bellator.

“I take the fight and I see where it leads me,” said Shipman. “I’m happy for this step up in competition. If I do what think I’ll do against Hracho then I’ll be able to stay another step up in competition, and face more well-known names.

“That would be my goal: Bellator is fighting in London (later in the year), and I’d love to fight on that main card. I would love to fight a well-known, respected, name in front of my home crowd.”