With four wins in four fights in 2017, welterweight Kyle Stewart was able to match the output he had previously experienced in the two years prior.
In particular, the second half of Stewart’s year was monumental for him, as he was able to get one step closer to his career goal with opportunities to fight on the national stage.
“I made my LFA debut (in May) and fought Ty Freeman, and I finished that fight in the first round, and that’s when I got the call to do the Contender Series (in July),” Stewart told MMAWeekly.com. “I was a little injured before that fight, so I didn’t look as good as I wanted to in that fight, to say the least, but I was able to win that fight (versus Jason Jackson).
Not only was Stewart able to double his win total last year, he also feels he’s grown quite a bit and matured as a fighter.
“Honestly, everything has gotten way better,” said Stewart. “I think now I’m a lot more comfortable in the cage. I’m more comfortable testing things out, setting guys up, not getting too excited and remaining calm. Being calm and turning it into a technical fight and not let it turn into a brawl.”
At LFA 33 this Friday in Dallas, Texas, Stewart (8-0) takes on fellow undefeated up and comer Jaleel Willis (8-0) in the evening’s 170-pound main event.
“He’s a tough fighter, he’s 8-0, and that’s what I’m excited about,” Stewart said of Willis. “A lot of guys try to get to the UFC by taking the safest route there. But once you get to the UFC you’re fighting the best guys in the world. So when I get to the UFC I knew I took the hard road to get there.
“Every opponent I’ve ever fought has a winning record. I’d rather fight the tough guys now, so once I get there, I know I’ve been through it before.”
Stewart knows to make the move up to the UFC he can’t just win, he has to win impressively, and that’s exactly what he hopes to do on Friday night.
“2018 is the year I want to make it to the UFC, and this is the fight I think can definitely put me there,” said Stewart. “I know the UFC is coming here in April, and that’s my goal: to get on that card and to make my UFC debut in my hometown.
“The UFC isn’t looking for 170-pound fighters. You have to do something impressive. So to me, anything other than a highlight reel knockout is just another win. The highlight reel knockout is the real key towards moving up.”