Though 2023 didn’t begin like how flyweight Shameek Harvey would have liked, the year nonetheless turned out to be a good one for him.
After facing defeat for the first time in his career, Harvey was able to rebound with two straight wins, and in the process make changes he feels he needed to move forward in a positive fashion.
“Last year started out a little rough for me,” Harvey told MMAWeekly.com. “In February I had my first loss as a pro, and I learned a lot from that.
“I learned I had to get better, get back to the lab, and how to overcome those losses. From there I picked up two wins and now we’re looking to keep the momentum going in 2023, starting with this weekend and getting my third straight win.”
While his training in the gym has always been solid, Harvey feels like he needed to make adjustments in the other aspects of his career, and did so to bring his outside the gym preparation up to the level of what he does in it.
“I made a lot of changes,” said Harvey. “One big change I made really outside the gym is doing all the little things that grow into big changes; like the dieting, the portion control with meals, how to cut weight properly, strength and conditioning; things I do outside the gym compared to what I do inside the gym.
“(Combine that) with the work ethic I have always being in the gym trying to get better.”
This Saturday in Wilmington, North Carolina, Harvey (4-1) seeks to pick up his third straight win when he takes on Tyrell Hill (2-1) in a 125-pound main card bout at Ultimate Battle Grounds 14.
“I like the match-up because it’s going to be fun and exciting,” Harvey said of facing Hill. “He brings it; he throws his punches, he throws his kicks. It will be a good match-up but at the end of the day I feel I think I’m going to get my hand raised.
“What I kind of figured out after my first loss is you can’t always stick to the game plan because guys do different things, so you really have to adapt, especially if you want to have success at the next level.”
Should Harvey keep his winning streak alive, he sees a clear path for himself to the next step in his career, and hopes that move can happen this year.
“I like to take it one fight at a time now, but ultimately the goal is to get the UFC and the next level,” said Harvey. “My pathway like some guys is going to be on the Contender Series. I feel I’m ready. I feel like a couple more fights against some tough guys I’ll put my name in the hat for a Contender Series shot.
“Or you never know, maybe there’s a fight where somebody pulls out, and I’ll be ready. I don’t know really how I’ll get there, I just know I want to be ready for when I get there, so I’m always training and always getting better.”