After kicking off his 2017 in strong fashion with two straight wins, veteran bantamweight Terrion Ware hit a bit of a roadblock in the second half of his year by losing back-to-back bouts for the first time since 2015.
Looking back, while Ware isn’t happy with the losses, he doesn’t feel the year was a complete wash, as his performances impressed the UFC enough to bring him back following his defeats.
“The year started off great,” Ware told MMAWeekly.com. “I had two wins, one with a finish, heading into the UFC. I got the call on short notice, and against Cody (Stamann at UFC 213 in June) it didn’t go my way, but the UFC was excited about it and wanted me to come back.
“The fight with Sean O’Malley (at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale in December) ended up being a co-main event, and was a great fight, but again didn’t go my way. I finished off my year not as strong as I wanted to, but I’m excited for this upcoming fight and starting off my 2018 the right way.”
Though he has two losses in his first two UFC fights, Ware isn’t letting it affect the way he looks at his future with the company.
“As much as I can, I try to block it out of my mind,” said Ware. “Even after the Cody fight it was a guarantee I’d fight again (for the UFC). I put on a great performance, they loved me, and brought me back.
“Even after the (O’Malley) fight, I wasn’t sure they’d bring me back, but they loved me and wanted me back. There was never really a guarantee of another fight, so I’m used to having my back against the wall. I’m going to do what I always do: go out there and bring it and try to get the job done.”
On March 17 in London, Ware (17-6) will look to rebound against Tom Duquesnoy (15-2) in a 135-pound UFC Fight Night 127 main card bout.
“We’re both well-rounded, but I think we both like to strike and come forward with pressure and high-volume,” Ware said. “I think the biggest thing is out-working (Duquesnoy) and break him down.
“If there are exchanges on the ground, I have to win those exchanges. That was the difference in the O’Malley fight; he was able to get the takedowns and get the points and get the victory. The difference is going to be me out-working him and winning those grappling exchanges.”
Knowing there is never a guaranteed next fight, Ware’s main focus is on taking one fight at a time, but that doesn’t mean he lacks ambition for the future beyond each bout.
“I have long-term goals and short-term goals,” said Ware. “My long-term goal for the year is to win every single fight. The short-term goal is to win the next one. I’m focused on this one, but I still have plans for the future and what will keep me going forward to the end goal of what I’m doing.”