Do you think your most recent win was enough to punch your ticket to the UFC?
Yes, I think so. Moving up a weight class, and still being able to get that first-round finish, should do it. That should be enough to push me to the next level. I have five finishes and I’ve beaten UFC and Bellator vets; I’m ready.
Can you pinpoint a time in your mind when it clicked that you could compete at the highest level?
That’s a good question. I think it’s when I started working with Ian Loveland, who’s pushed me to that next level after every fight. I’m always getting work in with him, and it’s had an amazing impact on me.
Are you at all surprised by the success you’ve had so far?
When I look back and think about all the work I’ve put in, it isn’t surprising. But it’s pretty surreal, too, because this is a pretty crazy life to be living (laughs).
How do you feel about what you’ve accomplished so far?
I’m really happy with what we’ve done so far, absolutely, but this is just the beginning!