Following four straight wins in the amateur ranks, it became clear that lightweight Eddy George was ready to step things up to the pro level.
On January 24, George stepped into the CES cage as a pro for the first time and quickly asserted himself, picking up a 21-second TKO win over veteran Raymond Yanez.
“I was calm as usual, and in the back (warming up) it felt like everything was playing out as it should,” George told MMAWeekly.com. “All my combinations were coming off tight. I wasn’t overly nervous. I just felt ready and confident.
“I stepped into the cage and I did what I saw a thousand times before and that was go out there and get the finish. I’m a big believer in visualization, and I envisioned that happening a thousand times, if not more, and made it a reality.”
For George the transition from the style of fighting he was used to the amateurs to what he now faces in the pros wasn’t much of a difficult one.
“It felt like it did before,” said George. “Given now that I can throw knees and elbows to the face, which is a cool thing to do, but beside that it was the same thing.
“The rounds are a little bit longer, going from a three minute round to a five minute round, but besides that it felt exactly the same. I fought with the same intensity that I always have, and nothing changed that day.”
While he is still young in his career, George already has developed a critical eye for his development and actively pushes himself to evolve from previous versions of himself.
“I’m always looking back at my old self and am constantly trying to evolve and get better as a mixed martial artist,” said George. “I work on my whole complete game, and not just focus on my boxing or my Jiu-Jitsu, I focus on everything.
“If I fought the me from a year ago, I would beat myself up in no time.”
For George the bigger picture is always there, but he also focuses on taking things one step at a time in service of accomplishing his larger aspirations.
“I like having a big goal to work towards, but I also like having small stepping stone goals to get there,” said George. “I do have big goals, one of them being winning a CES title in the lightweight division. Getting into the UFC is another huge goal of mine.
“I have many stepping stone goals; one of them being active in 2020; and that’s going to project me forward into accomplishing those (bigger goals), the first being winning the CES title in the lightweight division.”