While he might not have had the same level of fanfare as other heavyweights participating in the Professional Fighters League this season, Kelvin Tiller has proven more than capable of hanging with his more well-known opponents.
In two regular season bouts, Tiller managed to finish both Caio Alencar and Jared Rosholt, resulting in a high #2 seed heading into the heavyweight playoffs.
“I feel I’ve been doing good with these two victories – two finishes – against two of the top guys they have,” Tiller told MMAWeekly.com. “I said before I started that I believe I’m the best person in this. I know I’m not well-known, so I’m able to fly under the radar for these fights.”
Being able to fight every other month is a big change for Tiller, who had only managed four bouts in the previous five years before joining the PFL.
“I was tagging every promoter, but I just wasn’t getting anything because of the weight issues of the past,” said Tiller.
“I love the competition. I love the money also, but I want to prove I’m one of the best in the world, and I’m getting the opportunity now to prove that. Just the back to back fights have been motivating and keeping me going.”
In the first round of the PFL heavyweight playoffs on Friday in New Orleans, Tiller (10-1) will rematch with the fighter he defeated in July, Jared Rosholt (16-5).
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“It didn’t matter who they matched me up with,” Tiller said. “I’m a bad match-up for everyone in the (heavyweight) division.
“I told my manager that I wanted to fight Jared because I wanted to know who I was and that what I could do against the best. He had the best wrestling in the tournament, so I was able to take him down and submit him and beat him at his own game.”
As Tiller sees it, the success he’s had so far in the PFL regular season should carry over to the playoffs and the championship prize is as good as his.
“A lot of the guys in the tournament fight with their chin up or they’re not well-rounded,” said Tiller. “I don’t feel like a lot of them have the technical ability or the cardio or the type of pressure I bring to the table.
“I am a bad match-up for everyone. I’m able to take the fight where they’re not comfortable, and wherever they are comfortable, I’m still better, so I believe that million dollars is mine.”