Four years ago, bantamweight Cody Peterson was looking like a prospect on the verge of something when he decided to step away from fighting to focus on his personal life.
Four years later, Peterson is now ready to return to fighting, partially because he felt his physical conditioning was not where it could have been.
“Honestly what made me want to fight again was I got up to 175lbs and I didn’t like it,” Peterson told MMAWeekly.com. “So I knew I needed to get back in shape, and what is the best way to get back in shape, to take a fight. Get your mind set right and stuff like that.
“I’ve been working out of town lately so it’s just been me by myself, so things have been running through my mind, and I feel like now is the right time to come back.”
Though he had such an extended period of time off, Peterson felt he was able to transition back into MMA a bit easier because he had been doing other combat sports in the interim.
“Getting back into training wasn’t horrible,” said Peterson. “I might not always be in fight shape, but I’m always in shape. I’ve done some last minute boxing matches over the last three years and stuff.
“Working through that and stuff hasn’t been too big a deal. I’m getting up there in age (at 30 years old), so if I’m going to do this I’ll have to do it this year and see where it takes me.”
On Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri, Peterson (5-1) will have his first fight back when he faces Ray Grindstaff (5-4) in the 135-pound main event of Shamrock FC 319.
“I think it’s a good match-up for both of us,” Peterson said. “I think we both have similar styles. We’re both gamers. I think a lot of people try to count (Grindstaff) out because he’s a .500 fighter, but I think .500 fighters are some of the most dangerous (ones).“
Though he’s trying to not look beyond June 8, Peterson would like an opportunity to fight for a shot at the UFC this year if possible.
“I’ll take it one fight at a time for now,” said Peterson. “I’m trying to focus on getting this W first. I’ll get this W first and then start looking for The Contender Series.
“I know once I get there I’m a hard guy to beat at 135 pounds and 14 pounds. It’s just getting the opportunity is what it comes down to. Making sure I’m ready and getting that opportunity to get me to where I want to be.”