Bellator 194's Tywan Claxton Reveals 2018 Plan: 5 Fights, 5 Finishes

Discussion in 'Worldwide MMA Discussion' started by AGEZ909, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. AGEZ909

    AGEZ909 Brown Belt

    Oct 22, 2014
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    Bellator 194's Tywan Claxton Reveals 2018 Plan: 5 Fights, 5 Finishes
    Feb 8, 2018Hunter Homistek
    Bellator MMA[​IMG]

    Bellator 194 competitor Tywan Claxton went big in his professional MMA debut.

    Like, Knockout of the Year big.

    Facing Jonny Bonilla-Bowman at Bellator 186 in November, Claxton needed just 90 seconds to unleash the ultra-violence.

    Go ahead. Watch it.

    Impressive as it was, Claxton wasn't surprised. A 7-0 amateur training in South Florida's Blackzilians camp, Claxton faced trial by fire daily, and his professional debut inside the Bellator cage was simply the result of intense preparation combined with his brutal killer instinct.

    "It was a perfect debut. It was a perfect statement," Claxton told FloCombat. "I saw that he was ducking underneath the punches, so I threw it. It was kind of just instinctive. You see a guy put his head down, and you say, 'Hey, why not?'

    "I think he felt the power in my hands and he didn't really want to get hit that much more. He didn't want to take those straight shots anymore, and so I knew that once I put my hands on he felt the power that he would start retreating and ducking it and just making small mistakes. With my explosive capabilities, I knew I'd capitalize. It kind of just fell into place, bro."

    The finish marked one of the most memorable pro debuts in recent history. To come off an undefeated amateur career as a hyped prospect, then to deliver a perfect flying knee -- on a stage like Bellator's, no less -- is a remarkable achievement.

    But Claxton wasn't fazed by any of it. This is what he does, and this is what he plans to do plenty more of moving forward.

    "I'm not trying to top myself at all," he said. "That's what people want me to do. That's what the fans want me to do, but I'm not going to put myself in a situation and do something just to impress the fans... I think that's unnecessary pressure to put on yourself. It gives you pressure. So I want to go in there pressure-free and do my thing.

    "I'm going to let my hands go, let my knees go, let my elbows go and kind of see where it takes me. I'm not looking to top one thing or top another thing, but I am looking to go out there and make a statement."

    (Photo credit: Bellator MMA)

    Now training back in his home state of Ohio, Claxton looks to take the lessons learned from the Blackzilians and further hone them under the coaching staff at Strong Style Fight Team, home to UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and flyweight competitor Jessica Eye, among others.

    "My ground coach, who was the head coach, Neil Melanson, he's in Denver now," Claxton said. "And I just figured, I wanted to be back home. I'd rather be back home around friends and family before I move to another state again. So I decided to move back home."

    The shift from South Florida to Cleveland may be dramatic geographically speaking, but to Claxton, it's all business as usual once he steps into the gym.

    "Training at Strong Style's going great," Claxton said. "And I plan on going up to Denver and training with those guys for a week and a half, two weeks. I just think it's a perfect situation. Strong Style has a great boxing team, great MMA team, and I'll get my ground work there with Neal and have a sense of both worlds."

    Now facing Jose Antonio Perez Feb. 16 in Uncasville, Connecticut, Claxton has to opportunity to notch a second highlight-reel finish and stamp his name among the most intriguing 145-pound prospects in the world. Joining him in that category is a certain boxing and wrestling standout who captured the MMA world's attention before his own pro debut in June of 2017.

    Claxton has eyed a bout vs. Aaron Pico since his amateur days, and even though that fight could very well materialize in the near future, he's no longer focused on that particular feud.

    "Any day, anytime, anywhere. If he wants to do it, we can," Claxton said. "Dude, he hasn't said anything back to me. He hasn't responded. And I'm not about to sit here and continue to beat a dead horse. If he wanted to fight or wanted to say something, we would've fought or he would've said something. I just think that's not the case for him. With that being said, we'll just leave it where it's at."

    Following his scrap at Bellator 194, Claxton will continue to look forward and to climb the ranks. He's setting goals, and he's holding nothing back in the process.

    "I want to fight five times this year and get five finishes," Claxton said. "That's what I'm looking to do. I don't really know so much about pacing myself. I'm a competitor. I like to compete."

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