Though he may have been the less experienced fighter heading into his pro debut this past November versus Sean Gee at Prime Fighting 11, featherweight prospect Braydon Akeo was put on a dominating performance en route to a second round TKO.
“Last November I turned pro and it was a really good experience,” Akeo told MMAWeekly.com. “(Gee) was a veteran. If you including all his pro boxing fights, he had about 20-plus fights.
“I pretty much went out there and dominated from start to finish. I didn’t really get hit at all. I was in control the whole fight and ended up getting a TKO finish in the second round.”
Though he hadn’t had a long amateur career prior to his pro debut in November, Akeo credits his work with Team Quest in Oregon for helping him make a successful transition to the pro ranks.
“I only had two amateur fights, but before that I had been wrestling in college, and I feel like I’d been training my whole life for this moment,” said Akeo. “I definitely feel I needed that time as an amateur.
“Coming as a wrestler, I needed to become a full mixed martial artist. I worked out at Team Quest, which was perfect for my transition from wrestling to MMA: they have the same base as me. A lot of good wrestlers have come through the Team Quest camp. It was the perfect fit for me.”
Akeo (1-0) will look to build a winning streak when he faces Austin Bloch (1-0) in a 145-pound co-main event at X-1 World Events 52 in Waipahu, Hawaii, on Friday.
“Austin is no slouch,” Akeo said. “He was the No. 1 ranked amateur in Hawaii before just turning pro. I also know he’s a state champ (in wrestling). I won a state title a few weight classes below him. He graduated before we were the same weight class, so I’ve always wanted to compete against him, so to finally get that chance right now is going to be exciting.
“I feel like his wrestling is decent, but it’s nowhere near on my level. I feel like I’m really going to dominate this fight. I don’t see any way of him being able to win. I’m pretty confident going into this fight right now.”
For what will be his first full year as a pro, Akeo would like to have a strong start so by the mid-point of 2019 he could find himself in a position to earn a shot at the next level of MMA.
“I kind of try to map things out, but in the fight game it can be hard to map these things out,” said Akeo. “You can make all these plans in your head, but that doesn’t always go through.
“I plan on going 2-0, and there’s another event right after that if I’m healthy, and I think if I can get to 3-0 by that time I have a shot at getting on the Contender Series or one of those bigger shows. That’s what I’m aiming for right now. I want to get on their radar by the end of this year.”