Coming off a successful first year as a pro in 2017 that saw him win his first three fights, lightweight prospect Flavian Pilgrim hit a bit of a speedbump in 2018.
Following a series of fight cancellations, Pilgrim started off his 2018 in May suffering a loss to Jordan Titoni. Fortunately, Pilgrim was able get things back on track and finish out the year with a win over Austin Wourms in September.
“I had a couple of fights fall through and I felt I was kind of bummed out by that, but it is what it is,” Pilgrim told MMAWeekly.com. “What I did from there was kept training, kept focused and kept my priorities straight.”
What helped Pilgrim rebound was a move to New Mexico to live and train with one of MMA’s most recognizable fighters.
“I moved up with Cowboy Cerrone at the ranch, and that was probably the best move I could have made,” said Pilgrim. “He’s great to be around; he’s motivation, good energy, and always having fun.
“I feel I’ve made big changes. Technically it was my best year, coming out to the ranch and Jackson-Wink. I feel like I’ve taken leaps and bouts not just in the physical, but mental part of it.”
This Friday in Albuquerque, N.M., Pilgrim (4-1) will look for his second straight win when he takes on Sherwin Price (5-1) in an LFA 58 lightweight bout.
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“My opponent is tough and he’s definitely going to bring the fight, but at the same time, I also think he’s been fed his opponents,” Pilgrim said of Price. “Looking at his record, between his opponents they have 10 fights altogether.
“I’m not going to break like his other opponents. If they get in bad situations, they break, but I’m not going to break – I’m going to put him bad situations and see what he’s made of. I think I can beat him in any aspect of the sport. I just have to go out there, have fun, and let loose.”
While Pilgrim’s goal is to join Cerrone in the UFC, he knows it’s a multi-step process to get there, and he’s willing to make the right steps needed to ensure long term success once he gets there.
“I don’t want to get there and not be ready,” said Pilgrim. “I do believe I will be ready after this fight, but it will be good to get another win under my belt. By the end of the year would be good, that would be a realistic (timeframe) to get into the UFC.”