Before Connecticut’s Carlos Candelario tries to improve to 5-0 versus Miguel Restrepo at CES MMA 41 on January 28 in Lincoln, R.I., LIVE on AXS TV Fights, the top flyweight prospect caught up with Pro MMA Now.

How excited are you to be back in the cage?

Man, you don’t even know! I was supposed to fight back in September. I was really excited and focused for that fight. I had a setback with an injury, but I’ve been working on my overall game since then. I’m really, really excited to show what I’ve been working on. I’m really excited to show everyone how complete of a fighter I’m becoming.

Is this the most excited you’ve been going into a fight?

It’s right up there. I haven’t fought since June. It’s been way too long, man (laughs). I really love to fight and like to stay as active as possible. To be on the sidelines this long, even though I’ve been training and getting better, makes me even more excited.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?

I just want to keep on doing what I’m doing. I want to keep climbing the ladder and continue proving my point that I’m going to be the top flyweight in the world one day.

Where would you like to be 12 months from today?

Definitely I would like to be the CES champion. One of my teammates, Matt Bessette, is defending his belt on the same card that I’m fighting on. I’ve been one of his main training partners for his fight, and I’m excited to see him defend the title. I’m just as excited about that fight as I am about my own (laughs). The way he works shows me that it’s possible for me to win and be the champion. Twelve months from today, I would like to be the CES champion and working my way towards the UFC.

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