While it took a couple of years for featherweight Enoch McCottrell to have his first fight after transitioning from college wrestling to MMA, the wait was worth it as he had a successful first year in the amateur MMA ranks.
Despite a bit of nerves going into his MMA debut, McCottrell was able to have strong performances in both his fights in 2018, and pick up back to back unanimous decision victories for 559 Fights.
“My first one I was a little bit nervous,” McCottrell told MMAWeekly.com. “The atmosphere was way different coming from college wrestling.
“Jumping into the cage was kind of nerve-wrecking, but the coaches that I have now, they made they stayed in touch with me constantly and calmed my nerves down, and it helped me go out there and do what I do best: which is go out there and put on a show.”
McCottrell feels like his background in wrestling helped give him a leg up over other combat sports when it came to making the transition to MMA.
“I’ve been doing (wrestling) since I was in eighth grade all the way to my college days,” said McCottrell. “I’ve been doing MMA for three years, going on four now, and the transition from wrestling to MMA is a blessing. Wrestling is like the backbone for MMA. I’ve been taking it one step at a time, really.”
On Saturday in Fresno, California, McCottrell (2-0) will look to remain undefeated when he faces Daniel Alvarez (4-1) in a main card 145-pound bout at 559 Fights 70.
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“Daniel Alvarez is a good dude,” McCottrell said. “I’ve looked at a couple of his fights and everything is a little bit similar, nothing really changes. He’s really aggressive, has good jitz, good kicking, but that’s pretty much it. I believe I have way more power, way more focus, and my wrestling background.
“I’ll put on a show like I always do. I try to get in and get out. This fight will mean a lot for me. (559 Fights’) Jeremy (Luchau) said if I win this fight, it will line me up for a title fight, so it’s lit a fire under my butt and I’m ready to go.”
Should McCottrell secure a win over Alvarez, his next goal is to claim his first MMA title and then see what opportunities come his way on his path towards turning pro.
“We really want to get that belt, defend it, and see where we go from there,” said McCottrell. “The stuff that I do, the confidence I have, and the team I have behind me brings a lot out of me. I just have to go out there and put on a show on March 16.”