Marcus Hicks and Rob McCullough at WEC 39After nearly two years off from fighting, former WEC lightweight Marcus “Wrecking Ball” Hicks made his return to MMA this past January with a second-round submission win over Joshua Lee in Element Fighting Championships.

And while it would seem that inactivity might be the biggest obstacle in his return, according to Hicks, it was changing his mentality.

“It really felt like I was in class playing around,” said Hicks. “In the first round it was like I was there, but wasn’t there. Once things got moving, I kind of woke up a little bit and got the job done. It didn’t seem like a fight almost.

“I think it’s because I’d been in such a coach-mode. I think that bothered me more than the layoff. Normally I like to be aggressive, and I didn’t feel like that person until the second round.”

Hicks will have his second fight back on Saturday night in Plano, Texas, when he returns to EFC against Derrick Krantz for the promotion’s 155-pound title.

“I think I needed to go out there and impose my ability,” said Hicks. “I think in everything I’m a little bit better than he is.

“It’s one of those fights where I can showcase my abilities and just have to go out here and perform to my abilities, make sure my gameplan is better than his and impose my will.”

Having fought some of the toughest guys in the division in the past, Hicks told MMAWeekly.com that he needs to draw off that experience now and in the future to help him get back on track.

“That’s definitely one of the things I’m going to have to use more,” he said. “I don’t actually give myself the credit that I have been in there with the top level guys and do have the experience. I’ll try to use that as one of my facets.”

Hicks hopes to use his return in EFC to help provide a base for him to make a comeback in 2013 and return to the hights of the lightweight division he had once been at.

“I’d like to be a lot more active and get back to being one of the top 155-pounders in the world,” he said. “This is definitely time to showcase my skills.

“I want to be a lot smarter and make sure that when I’m standing I want to be sharp; when I’m on the ground I want to be sharp; with the in-between game I want to be sharp. I’ve worked on a lot areas that I never got to use before, so I’m the same ‘Wrecking Ball’, just with some little tweaks.”

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