After a stellar amateur career in which he went undefeated, current UFC bantamweight Ian “The Barn Owl” Loveland hit a rough patch when he turned pro.

Inconsistency plagued the up-and-coming Team Quest fighter, and through his first 14 fights he had only a .500 record.

Ian Loveland and Tyler Toner TUF 12 Finale

Ian Loveland knees Tyler Toner at the TUF 12 Finale

On the verge of becoming a career small promotion fighter, Loveland began to put things together. Heading into UFC 128 on Saturday, he’s riding an impressive seven-fight winning streak.

“I just kind of grew up,” Loveland told MMAWeekly.com. “I got married, and you can’t behave the same way you can when you’re single. Just more maturity and for the first time I started putting fighting ahead of everything else, that’s the main thing.”

With maturity, Loveland went from being a reckless fighter at times to a fighter who could truly adapt and put the fight where it needed to be in order to secure victory.

“I’ve just kind of learned to slow things down and win fights rather than just going out there, fight, and hope I win,” he said.

Loveland also points out that his time in the UFC has helped him become a more developed fighter.

“It definitely lit a fire under my ass just even more,” he stated. “I think I was already on the right track and doing the right things, but since then I think I’ve taken it to another level in my training.”

After defeating Tyler Toner at “The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale” in December, Loveland’s task is even greater this time around as he faces top ranked Joseph Benavidez at UFC 128.

“I’ve got some reach on him and will probably be bigger and stronger than he is, so that will help me quite a bit,” said Loveland. “I think I’ve got a good strategy to fight guys with a lower center of gravity. I think my style of fighting kind of caters to that too.

“I think it’s a real good match-up not only for me to win, but to have an exciting fight and gain a bit more popularity too in the process.”

Having originally begun his training with Team Quest at 20 years old, Loveland’s body has matured. He feels his decision to move down to 135 has put him at the absolute peak of physicality.

“I feel a lot stronger and more athletic,” he stated. “I’m walking around lighter, leaner, and in better shape. All those years of training kind of shaped me up.”

A win over Benavidez will not only run his winning streak to eight fights in a row, but it could also set the table for him to face more of the elite in the bantamweight division.

“I certainly hope (it does), this is what I want,” he said. “You never know what match-ups you’re going to get, but once I beat Joseph, I’m pretty sure that they’re going to give me nothing but tough fights from there on out.

“I’m ready for it; especially dropping down to 135 pounds. I felt like I could be a competitive 145-pounder, but at 135 pounds I think I can do some really big things.”

Having gone through the growing pains of a young fighter early in his career, Loveland has begun to become a legitimate veteran force that could make waves in the UFC in the years to come.

“I just want to thank Team Quest, David Wood, Dave Jansen, Tyson Nam, Ryan Healy, Blaine Macintosh, and CrossFit Gresham,” concluded Loveland. “I’m going to put on a great fight for the fans and hopefully get Fight of the Night.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Max Holloway, Kyoji Horiguchi and the Best UFC Fighters Age 25 or Younger

  • 14 days ago
  • 9 views

UFC on Fox 15 was a turning point for several young fighters. On the main card, 23-year-old Max Holloway pulled an upset by submitting Cub Swanson, just minutes after 21-year-old Paige VanZant decisi read news >>

UFC on FOX 15 post-fight facts: Good night for young talent, bad night for the vets

  • 17 days ago
  • 3 views

Young talent thrived at UFC on FOX 15 on Saturday. The younger fighter won eight of 11 bouts at the network-televised event. It’s one of 45 post-event facts.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Vitor Belfort: 'I think I'm getting younger'

  • 19 days ago
  • 7 views

Nineteen year MMA veteran Vitor Belfort feels his MMA craft is as sharp as ever heading into his championship showdown with Chris Weidman at UFC 187. Is Vitor Belfort the true Benjamin Button of mixe read news >>

Chris Camozzi Inks New Deal with UFC, Expects Top Ranking with Win over Jacare

  • 19 days ago
  • 0 views

Chris Camozzi confidently fielded questions from inside New York City's Best Buy Theater Thursday afternoon as part of the UFC's Ultimate Media Day leading up to Saturday's UFC on Fox 15 card in Newa read news >>

Top UFC contender Vitor Belfort: 'I think I'm getting younger, actually'

  • 21 days ago
  • 66 views

You won’t hear former UFC champion and upcoming middleweight title challenger Vitor Belfort talking about how he’s going to beat reigning titleholder Chris Weidman. That would be focusing on the outc read news >>

Video: Freddie Roach agrees to corner Georges St. Pierre, expects 'Rush' to fight one more time

  • 23 days ago
  • 25 views

Video: Famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach agrees to corner Georges St. Pierre, expects "Rush" to return to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to fight one more time before calling it a career in mi read news >>

ONE Championship 26's Ben Askren: Luis Santos 'probably the toughest guy I've faced'

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

ONE Championship welterweight champion Ben Askren expects Luis Santos his “toughest” opponent to date, but he’s not necessarily concerned about the upcoming challenge.Filed under: News read news >>