Following a stint on the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter, middleweight Bryan Battle was looking to secure a UFC contract with a win at UFC Fight Night on August 28 versus Gilbert Urbina.
Following a competitive start, Battle was able to take control of the fight and pick up a second round submission win over Urbina to claim a TUF win and earn a multi-fight UFC contract in the process.
“Gilbert really came out and went after it,” Battle told MMAWeekly.com. “It was a good back and forth. It kind of played out how I thought it was going to play out. The first couple minutes he was doing really, really well, but after I got back to my feet I started taking the fight over and overwhelmed him.
‘He only had 10 days to prepare, so in my head it was more or less a given that he was going to fade. It happened in the second round and I was able to get the finish.”
Now that he has a UFC contract and can begin his path with the company, Battle feels happy to have the process of getting to this point over and ready to begin the next stage of his career.
“My approach going into it was I was already in the UFC, that I already won,” said Battle. “I called out I was going to win even before the competition started. For me I was more relieved that the process was over.
“It was a long process. With being in the house then coming back home while the show was airing, it was so long, and I just wanted to actually just say I was a UFC fighter. To be able to say that I’m a UFC fighter is really cool and it’s meant a lot to a lot of people in North Carolina.”
Now that he’s at a level where he can dictate more time to his training, Battle believes that he’ll only get better as he progresses his way through his UFC run.
“I think I’m about to improve exponentially over the next several years,” Battle said. “Just finally being afforded the ability to train, and have a schedule more like a professional athlete will be tremendous.
“Talking nutrition, strength and conditioning, all those things I might have lacked before or I was doing by myself beforehand, now I’ll have a whole new level of accessibility to these things. So I think every time you see me in the cage from here on out it’s going to be better and better and better.”
While Battle has an idea of who he’d like to face next, as long as he can get in one more bout in 2021 he’s fine facing anyone.
“At the end of the day (the UFC is) the boss, but a closed mouth can’t be fed. It’s always appeared that as a fighter it’s always better to be proactive than reactive,” said Battle. “I’ve let it known that I would like to fight in December.
“I would like to fight against Tresean Gore. He thinks he can beat me. I don’t think he can beat me. I’m very confident in my ability to beat Tresean. I would love to fight Tresean if he’s healthy, but if he’s not healthy then anyone in December would be cool.”