“I wanted to keep it standing, and if the opportunity was there, take him down and work him on the ground a little bit and tire him out, and as we got back up, turn the heat up and push the pace,” said East. “I worked hard on my boxing for this fight and I think it showed.
“Mahe is a big strong guy, but he doesn’t use a lot of movement. He just kind of walks forward, so I knew I was going to be able to hit him. (To his credit) I couldn’t hit him just one time; I had to use combinations to put him away.”
Following his debut in 2008, East spent nearly two years away from the sport dealing with injury before coming back strong in late 2011, eventually building to his current 6-1 record.
As East told MMAWeekly.com, the biggest change from when he started to now is ring generalship.
“When I first started fighting, I was just a wrestler. Then I broke my leg and I was out for a year, year-and-a-half, but at the beginning of last year I really started committing 100-percent to the sport and I’ve grown a lot,” said East.
“The biggest difference is how to control myself and not burn myself out. Just go in there and not go crazy. I’ve learned to pace myself and it’s a big difference.”
With three wins in a row, East’s plan for 2013 is to get a rematch with the only fighter that’s beaten him and take not one, but two championships as he continues to work his way up the ranks.
“My next fight should be against (KOTC heavyweight champion) Tony Lopez,” said East. “He’s fighting Nick Rossborough for the title (on Feb. 7) and I’m going to fight the winner. I want to get that belt and then move to super-heavyweight and get that belt too.
“Since I fought Lopez last time (in April of 2012), I’ve put on a lot of strength and my boxing and power is so much better that I can’t wait to show it. Hopefully Lopez wins his fight so I can fight him again.”
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