Before David Robins returns to action for the eighth time at Valor 45 on Oct. 20 in Chattanooga, LIVE on FloCombat, the top Tennessee prospect sat down with Pro MMA Now.

What was the big takeaway from the national tournament you were a part of?

I learned a lot of positive and a lot of negative. I competed against Ben Bennett – he’s had over fifty fights. I fought him and having it go the way that it did, it showed me that I am able to hang with the top level amateurs around. Striking-wise, I felt great, everything was firing off there. I just got out-wrestled. He did what he had to do to win – he got his takedown, he blocked my hips off, he shut down my jiujitsu game and I wasn’t able to adapt at the time. I just stopped giving up the takedowns so easy. I have always given up takedowns because I’m so comfortable working off my back – using jiujitsu. It was kind of a wake-up call. I’ve just been doing a whole bunch of wrestling since then.

What is disappointing to not win the championship or was it a positive experience overall?

Of course, it was disappointing. Everyone there was coming to get the win and I was coming to win as well. It was a big disappointment, I put a lot of time in. I try not to be a negative person, though, so I didn’t really beat myself up over it.

Is this the final fight of your amateur career coming up?

Yeah, pretty much. I’ve got this one and depending on how things line up, I’ll do one more MMA fight at 155 pounds. Once I do that, that’ll be ten fights there and I’ll be switching over to professional fighting on the first of the New Year.

How excited are you for that?

Oh my god, I‘m super excited. It’s been a long time – I’ve been in the gym since I was a teenager. I’m looking forward to making the switch over to professional fighting, I’m looking forward to it. It’s a big deal and I take that very seriously. I know some people don’t, but, it’s a long-term goal that I’m finally obtaining. I’m very excited but I know I still have a whole lot of hard work ahead of me. The opponents are just going to start getting tougher, now. It’s time to really buckle down and be serious. I’m a little bit older now, I’m twenty-six. I’m glad I didn’t go professional sooner, it’s given me time to mature – athletically and mentally. I feel very confident to take that next step and move on to the professional level.

Do you think your skill level fits better under the professional rules set?

Yeah, definitely. I’ve been doing Thai boxing since I was a teenager and the things I’m pretty limited on and like to use, even in the gym is elbows and clinching. I think that giving me more weapons to hurt somebody is going to help me out a lot more. I’ve always been a little lower level in boxing with strong kicks and good clinch work – where I can elbow to the head. But you can’t do that as an amateur. So I’ve kind of just played by the rules, but I’m very much looking forward to seeing what happens when I start dropping elbows on people.

Where would you like to be in your career twelve months from today?

I‘m not going to shoot way too far ahead of myself, but by the end of 2018, I’d like to have at least three professional fights under my belt. Best-case scenario, I hope to be 3-0 and we can go from there. But definitely bang out those first three pro fights. And honestly, I’d rather do three quick, back-to-back-to-back fights. I want the experience, but, man, I want some money, dude. It’s going to feel nice to be compensated for this, finally. I mean to say it earlier, but I’m looking forward to having people look at me as a professional and look at it as a career and job, rather than being a hobby.

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