After closing out his 2018 campaign with an unblemished record, bantamweight up and comer Hunter Azure was looking to keep his winning streak going when he faced Jaime Hernandez at LFA 59 in February.
In a bout that lasted just over two minutes, Azure was able to use an aggressiveness he had not shown in his previous fight versus A.J. Robb three months earlier to pick up a TKO win over Hernandez.
“I feel like I did pretty good,” Azure told MMAWeekly.com. “I had to go out there and be composed and stay relaxed. Just make sure my cardio and stuff was still there. It was a good win for me.
“It felt good to get back to finishing ways. I was a little too hesitant and stuff against A.J., and I held back a lot. I was trying to get back in there and let things fly a little more. I felt a little wild, but it felt good to let those things fly and get a finish.”
Training at the MMA Lab in Arizona, Azure feels like a far superior fighter to the one he was when he turned pro in August, 2017.
“It’s a big difference from two years ago,” said Azure. “Especially the Lab has changed me as a fighter and a person.
“I don’t feel like I was exactly ready for my first pro fight. Mentally, physically, and at a different weight class now, I just feel like a whole new, well-rounded, fighter.”
On Friday in West Valley City, Utah, Azure (5-0) will seek to remain undefeated when he faces Lynn Schulz (6-4) in a main card 135-pound bout at LFA 66.
“The guy has a little experience with 10 fights and hasn’t been finished before,” Azure said of Schulz. “I have to take it like I do each fight: I’ve got to go in there and fight my fight, drag him into my pace, and stay in control.
“I’m definitely going to go out there and get another finish and get those rolling. I think it will look good with him not having been finished before.”
Though Azure is the type of fighter to take things as they come, he does acknowledge that he’s like an opportunity to move up to the next level of his career before 2019 is over.
“I take it fight by fight,” said Azure. “I let my coaches and manager decide what the next step is going to be for me. I like a hard road. It helps motivate me; helps get me in the gym pushing myself every day. I don’t want it easy, that’s for sure.
“I want to get into the UFC, so whatever fights I have to take and whatever I have to do to get in there I’m willing to do it.”