Though 2018 was a very strong year for light-heavyweight Ty Flores with three wins in three fights, he feels the turning point of his recent success actually occurred the year before.
Following an injury that kept him out of action for eight months, Flores returned to fighting in May of 2018 eager to get back to work, and reeled off his three wins over the second half of the year.
“2018 was great, but to talk about 2018 I have to go back to 2017,” Flores told MMAWeekly.com. “In my previous fight (against Jordan Dowdy in September of 2017) my kneecap went to the side of my knee in the fight, so got surgery in November and then I wanted to get back in there as soon as possible.
“I fought (Jerrod Thomas) in May (of 2018), and the doctors though I was crazy for wanting to do that. Then the LFA wanted me to fight (Marco Hutch) a few weeks later. I fought again a few months later and got another win (over James Bochnovic). It was a really great 2018.”
While his return to fighting was successful, it become clear to Flores in his comeback, that middleweight was not the division for him anymore and that it was time to move up in weight.
“I’ve got to move to 205 pounds because making the cut to 185 pounds is just terrible,” said Flores. “I won my last fight (at 185 pounds) but I think it was real sloppy. I knew I was in shape, but in the first 30 seconds I was super gassed. I was walking around at 225 pounds and then cutting down to 185 pounds, and I can’t do that anymore.
“It could not be better. It’s one of those things where I feel great a couple weeks out because I’m not worried about checking my weight. I’m able to eat and enjoy training. I’m able to focus on training and not on my weight.”
At Shamrock FC 318 on Friday in St. Louis, Missouri, Flores (6-2) will look for a fifth win in a row when he faces late replacement Erick Murray (5-2) in a main card 205-pound bout.
“It’s a little bit of an opponent change, but with that I feel if it goes to the ground for sure I feel like I get the win,” Flores said. “I don’t feel like (Murray) has anything on the ground for me. Even with the striking; I’ve been working night and day on improving my striking. On the feet I feel I have power and size.
“I feel comfortable wherever the fight goes. Also training at altitude, the longer the fight goes, the more it goes in my favor.”
Now that he’s found a weight class better suited for him, Flores is eager to have a busy year in 2018 and establish himself in a new division.
“The issue with me had been weight,” said Flores. “If I didn’t have at least one month to get down to 185 pounds I couldn’t get down there, so it was really tough for me. I can make 205 pounds much easier, so my ability to make short notice fights (is much improved). I’m ready to go.
“I’m not looking back Eric at all, but I want to get back in there as soon as possible. I want to have a very busy year.”