Coming into 2017, things seemed to always be going featherweight prospect Nathan Stolen’s way. Over the course of his first six fights, Stolen was able to pick up not only victories, but finishes in all six wins. Then things hit a bit of a rough patch.
In his last three bouts, starting last May, Stolen has lost two of three fights, leading him to make some changes he hopes will get him back on track in 2018.
“The first half of my year went pretty well for me, but there at the end I’ve definitely had some ups and downs,” Stolen told MMAWeekly.com. “A lot of that had to do with my training and schedule and stuff. That played a big part in my performances in my last three fights. I knew then I really needed to step up my training and get away from the small town, so that’s what I did.”
Stolen opted to open up his training camp to new locations, and feels he has since improved for the most part because he has been able to work with an array of training partners.
“I’ve been to Idaho and trained,” said Stolen. “I went to New Mexico. Just getting to work with different people and different styles really plays a big part in your improvement and development. Even if you’re not learning new things, you’re reacting to things differently and stuff like that.”
Stolen (7-2) will take on veteran Daniel Swain (16-8-1) in a 145-pound championship main event of CageSport 49 on Saturday in Tacoma, Wash.
“I think it’s going to be a great fight,” Stolen said. “I’m excited to fight a guy of (Swain’s) caliber. He’s a tough wrestler, and you could kind of say that’s my weakness, but I think I’m more than ready to face him. To get the W I just need to go in there and do what I do and not stop. I have to fight the way I want to fight.”
For Stolen, fighting for the CageSport title is not just another fight, and he’s altered his training accordingly.
“Of course you have to prepare for it differently, but I think you should prepare for every fight like it’s a five round fight,” said Stolen. “Just the mental readiness; you’ve got to be ready to go five rounds, and sometimes people can’t do that. That’s going to play a part in how I fight.”
Entering the third year of his career, Stolen is looking to make 2018 a bedrock year for his development moving forward.
“When I first started fighting pro I just looked to see what happened, but that’s kind of changed for me,” Stolen said. “I feel like I’ve got a lot of great opportunities and I’ve got to make every choice I make know count.”
(photo courtesy of Nathan Stolen)