Coming off a defeat in his UFC debut in June of 2018, welterweight Chance Rencountre was looking to rebound when he took on Kyle Stewart this January at UFC on ESPN+ 1.
In just over two minutes, Rencountre was able to secure a rear naked choke on Stewart and pick up his first UFC win in his second bout with the promotion.
“I always knew I belonged in the UFC and felt like I could always be here, but I didn’t know exactly for sure,” Rencountre told MMAWeekly.com. “It was really gratifying to actually get that win and show everybody that I can fight and I can finish people and be successful in this sport.
“It was a crazy fight because I was supposed to fight Randy Brown, but the commission didn’t clear him, so the week of the fight I didn’t know if he was going to make it, so it was a stressful time. They threw Dwight Grant in there and he couldn’t make it, then finally they found Kyle. I’m grateful that they could find somebody for me to fight, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic that I got in there and got that W.”
To help Rencountre get back on track and move forward successfully, he recently changed teams and feels like change has paid off.
“I moved out here last summer to San Diego to train full time at Alliance,” said Rencountre. “I was able to from working full time and training part time to now training full time and working a little part time. My craft has gotten so much better.
“I’ve always been a tough kid and I take pride in being an athlete, and I’m able to go forward and better my craft as a mixed martial artist. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to train full time and learn things and not just come out here for camps. The knowledge is helping me out tremendously.”
On Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, Rencountre (13-3) looks to pick up his second win in a row when he faces Ismail Naurdiev (18-2) in a UFC 239 welterweight preliminary bout.
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“He’s an explosive, powerful, guy,” Rencountre said of Naurdiev. “I feel like I’m real tough, and he’s tough too, so I’m not taking anything away from him. This is a fight and anything can happen, but I feel like I’m just as good if not better everywhere, so we can take him into deep waters and see his heart. I know my heart’s there.
“I’m fighting for me, my kid, and everything else. It’s going to be a good fight. We’ll see where it ends up and how it ends.”
For Rencountre, after spending the first half of 2019 without a bout, the main thing he wants to accomplish with the second half of the year is to stay as active as possible.
“I take it fight by fight,” said Rencountre. “I don’t think that far ahead. I take it day by day and concentrate on making myself better every single day. I take things in stride and learn as much as possible to make myself better.
“For 2019, I’d really like to fight quickly and not get any injuries and then try to get another one pretty quick-like. I feel like this is just the start for me. It’s been a long road and a lot of sacrifices, and now that I’m here (in the UFC) I want to make something of it and make everyone proud.”