For Bantamweight Kris Moutinho, 2018 was successful for the fact that he picked up wins in all three of his fights, but he’s not satisfied with the way he was able to pick up those wins.
While Moutinho was able to pick up a finish in his first win in June against Al Jones, he went to unanimous decision against Da’Mon Blackshear in July, and in November against James Quigg.
“I wish I had gotten a few more finishes,” Moutinho told MMAWeekly.com. “I had a lot of decisions. My opponents were very tough.
“I learned a lot about myself and how I need to fight and what I need to do to make my 2019 the year to get me to where I want to be. I’ve just been working and fixing things I know I do wrong and getting ready for this (upcoming) fight.”
Having had seven months off before his fight with Jones in June, Moutinho has stayed busy in the following months, and it’s a more active schedule that he prefers heading into 2019.
“Throughout my whole career, starting in the amateurs, I always liked to stay pretty active and keep the ball rolling,” said Moutinho. “There were a couple of setbacks (heading into 2018) that made me take a look at a couple of things; made me sit back a little bit and re-evaluate myself. Once I get going I like to stay going.”
On Saturday in Lincoln, R.I., Moutinho (7-2) will look to claim his first pro MMA championship when he challenges Tony Gravely (16-5) in a 135-pound championship co-main event of CES 54.
TRENDING > UFC’s ESPN Debut Undergoes Last-Minute Fight Card Shuffle
“I think I just have to be me,” Moutinho said. “I think my hands are better than (Gravely’s). I think my wrestling is going to surprise him.
“The kid just likes to hold you down and beat you up a little bit… he’s a bruiser. That’s his only game and has been since his first fight. He has 20-something fights and it’s been the same fight. I think he’s gotten this far on athleticism and being a stronger fighter. My heart’s too big and I put all of myself into this, and I’m going to show him who I am.”
Whether it’s after winning a CES championship or through a route like Dana White’s Contender Series, Moutinho is looking for 2019 to be the year he makes his move up to the next level.
“I can’t speculate on if this fight gets me there, because I don’t know,” said Moutinho. “I don’t know what they’re looking at. I don’t know what they want. If not, I’ll just keep plugging away and winning.
“That’s the goal here is to put on exciting fights and keep winning. I want to put on exciting fights and give people something to look at. I’m not a boring fighter, and I hope the UFC will see that.”