Over the course of his first two pro fights, heavyweight prospect Chandler Cole has had what he feels is both a weak and strong performance.
In his debut in August of last year, Cole felt his natural athleticism was able to pull him through an otherwise sluggish performance. Then in his next bout this past March, he was able to be better prepared and had a more convincing victory.
“My first fight I wasn’t really pleased with my performance,” Cole told MMAWeekly.com. “I got the win but I felt like I was really sloppy. I felt I was more athletic than my opponent, so I got the win.
“My second one I was more pleased. The game plan was to take him down, use ground and pound or submissions, and it went pretty quick. I felt I was more mature, my training camp was better, and my all-around performance was better than my first fight.”
Prior to turning pro, Cole had an extensive amateur career where he fought 12 times. Looking back, Cole feels the amateur ranks were helpful for his mental game, and his biggest adjustment has been keeping his energy level higher for potentially longer fights at pro.
“In amateur it’s three minute rounds, and in pros it is five,” said Cole. “I had to get used to pacing myself for a more lengthy time. I wanted to keep the same momentum and same pressure for five minutes instead of three, so my cardio had to improve.
“The other thing I think (my amateur career) helped me with was getting rid of the nerves and learning how to control myself before a fight. I used to get really bad nerves before my fights, but I think it has helped me calm myself down and be composed before I fight.”
Cole (2-0) steps up to Legacy Fighting Alliance for the first time to take on Tebaris Gordon (1-0) in a main card heavyweight bout on Friday in Charlotte, N.C.
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“I think (Gordon is) a very athletic fighter and it’s a very good test for me and on paper it looks very good, but I’m good enough to beat him anywhere,” Cole said. “I just think it’s really my fight to win. Honestly it’s wherever I want to take it, it goes, and hopefully I can back that up on July 21.”
Still young in the sport, Cole is not looking beyond what is in front of him, and intends to move ahead one step at a time.
“I’m 22 and I have tons of potential, but I also have tons of things I need to work on,” said Cole. “Good is never good enough for me. I want to be the best in the world one day, so there’s a lot I still need to work on. I’ll take each fight as it comes and one day hope to reach the ultimate goal.”
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