Coming into 2018 on a six-fight winning streak, lightweight Nate Andrews was looking to keep his streak going and kick off his year in a big way when he faced Chris Padilla at CES 49 in April for the promotion’s 155-pound title.
Half way through the second round, Andrews was able to catch Padilla in a submission, and keep his winning streak alive.
“I thought it was a great fight; a very entertaining fight,” Andrews told MMAWeekly.com. “(Padilla) was a great opponent; a very tough dude. I was very happy with the win, and very happy to get the finish.”
For Andrews, not only was he able to extend his undefeated streak into its third year, picking up the CES title was a great indicator of where he feels he’s headed.
“(Winning the title) did mean something to me,” said Andrews. “It is one of those things that solidifies that I am a top guy in New England and the Northeast. It helps show that I’m ready for the next stage, the next step, and getting to the UFC.”
On Friday in Lincoln, Rhode Island, Andrews (13-1) will defend his title for the first time against D’Juan Owens (16-12-1) in a 155-pound championship main event of CES 51.
“To get the win I have to be patient at first and not leap into (Owens’) style of getting wild,” Andrews said. “I’ve got to use my range and my distance, and feel him out at first. I have to weather the storm at first, and then I should be able to capitalize from there.
“I don’t feel any pressure (defending the title) at all. It’s more of a proving thing, like I feel like I should be at the next level and I haven’t gotten that shot. It’s more or less me proving who I am, what I do, and how good I am at it.”
Should Andrews successfully defend his championship, he feels he will have more than made his case for stepping up to the next level in 2018.
“I just take it fight by fight, but I am looking before this year is over to be in the UFC,” said Andrews. “God willing that will happen. If that’s not the plan or if it falls through, then I’ll defend the (CES) title again, and stay busy and stay ready.”