After a stretch that saw him lose three of four fights over the course of 2016 and 2017, lightweight Cort Wahle was looking to turn things around in 2018.
First in April of last year and then again in September, Wahle was able to pick up first round submission victories, getting himself back on track with the best performances of his career.
“The last couple of years have been really rough, just in general, fighting and life and all that jazz has had a lot of hectic-ness coming out,” Wahle told MMAWeekly.com. “I saw (in April that) Bellator was coming in, and thought it was now or never, so I reached out and tried to get an opportunity and trying to get a fight and it happened, and that started my upward stride that was my 2018.
“It was a great year. I learned a lot of things, got a couple fights in, and am hoping to keep progressing forward. “
For Wahle it was a move to a new gym after the dissolution of his previous one that helped get him back on track.
“I’d recently started at a new gym, Alton FMA,” said Wahle. “My old gym had a falling out in a way; all the fighters and coaches kind of split up.
“Going into 2018 I had a team behind me, had a lot of looks and proper training with others, and lead to a very beneficial, calm, mindset whenever I fought. It was fantastic for me individually.”
TRENDING > ESPN’s Steven A. Smith: ‘Conor McGregor is really getting on my damn nerves!’
On Friday in St. Louis, Missouri, Wahle (4-3) will look to pick up his third win in a row when he faces Issac Purnell (1-0) in a 155-pound main card bout at Shamrock FC 316.
“I know he’s an accomplished striker,” Wahle said of Purnell. “I definitely have to respect his striking and be smart about how I move. He has a little bit of reach on me. I can’t just walk in with my chin up and my hands down. I have to create my angles and be very tactical with how I address his striking.”
Having righted himself in 2018, Wahle is looking to make 2019 the year that helps get him noticed by larger promotions so he can take his career to the next level.
“After grabbing this win, if I continue to stride forward, I feel I’m pretty close to making it higher and higher in the MMA world,” said Wahle. “It’s going to be fight by fight, goal by goal, and do everything I can to be the best fighter that I can be.”