For former UFC heavyweight Anthony Hamilton 2018 was a year of recovery.
During the course of the year, Hamilton worked his way back from surgery and then was able to break a four-fight losing streak by picking up back-to-back wins to close out 2018.
“I think 2018 was an interesting year for me,” Hamilton told MMAWeekly.com. “I had some back surgery in early February. I apparently had fought my last two fights with the UFC with a blown out disc in the L5 section of my lower back. I got that fixed and was on the road to recovery.
“I got a few wins last year. I’m just trying to build on the momentum and keep going.”
Hamilton notes that the back injury initially started around 2014 and only exacerbated with time.
“When I first signed to the UFC I had some lower back pain, but I didn’t think it was anything significant,” said Hamilton. “Over time it gradually got worse. I fought through it. I want to say about the beginning of summer 2017 it was increasingly getting out of hand. By the time I had my last (UFC) fight it was unbearable.”
Now healthy, Hamilton (17-9) will look to pick up his third straight win when he faces Jared Torgeson (20-20) in a heavyweight title contention eliminator at CageSport 55 in Tacoma, Washington, on Saturday.
“Jared is a tough guy,” Hamilton said. “He’s been around for a long time. He’s fought a lot of great fighters. He has a ton of experience. He’s not a guy coming in here that you can take lightly. He’s not coming in here to lose; he comes to win each time.
“I actually fought him almost eight years ago in my second professional fight. I won that fight by decision, but it wasn’t easy by any means. I expect it to be pretty much the same this time around.”
While Hamilton’s goal is to return to the UFC one day, he has reasons to both be anxious and patient for when such a move could happen.
“I don’t have all the time in the world,” said Hamilton. “My body has a few miles on it. I guess there is a sense of urgency in that regard, but at the same time I’m just taking it one fight at a time.
“Whatever God has planned for me that what will be; I’m just going to try to do my part, and make it happen on this end, and work hard.”