Though he was only able to fight once in 2018, the bout that featherweight prospect Sean Woodson was especially important.
Facing Rashard Lovelace at Shamrock FC 311 this past November in a rematch of their previous bout from 2017, Woodson was looking to put a stamp on the fight and prove his victory over Lovelace in their first fight was not an aberration.
“Winning that rematch… that was a fight that I felt like a lot of people though my win was a fluke,” Woodson told MMAWeekly.com. “In this training camp we’re really working on solidifying that first win and just show that my skillset was better, and that I didn’t just get lucky.
“It’s kind of hard to look back over that and think about how I feel about that because I’m always looking forward to the future. I was pretty much over that 10 minutes after I hit the locker room, and was thinking about what the future had for me.”
Having previously been far more active heading into 2018, Woodson was hoping to maintain a similar schedule, but understands that sometimes activity levels don’t meet expectations in MMA.
“I know that happens sometimes, but I didn’t expect it to happen right off the bat this early in my career,” said Woodson. “I fought four times (over the course of a year) and was hoping to do the same thing in 2018, but I know there there’s a ton of scenarios in the fight game.
“Things come from all different directions and you never know what to expect doing this, so I don’t let anything damper my mood too much. I try to stay positive all the time no matter what.”
At NFA: Sacrifice & Glory on Saturday in St. Louis, Missouri, Woodson (5-0) will look add a title to his resume when he faces Chuka Willis (9-5) in the evening’s 145-pound championship main event.
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“My last opponent I think we got to the point where he wasn’t fighting to win anymore, he was fighting to survive; but this guy I don’t think he’s going to do that,” Woodson said of Willis. “No matter how far behind he is in the fight, he’s always going to be looking to win.
“I think he’ll bring the fight to me, and that’s what I need to show what I can do and show where my skillset really is. I think this guy is really going to come at me, be aggressive and look for the finish, take some risks and I’m going to capitalize on (the risks) the moment I see them.”
Having begun to approach MMA with a level of seriousness that he hadn’t before, Woodson feels like he can now make the proper steps in order to get him to the top tier of MMA in the near future.
“I didn’t take it as seriously (in previous years),” said Woodson. “I always had the talent, but I always thought I would get there without working hard, but now that I’m putting hard work with the skillset I believe I can be in the UFC in the next year or two.”