After a start to his career that saw him fight twice in each of his first two years as a pro, featherweight prospect Lance Lawrence hit a bit of a roadblock in 2018.
For the first time since he started fighting in either the amateur or pro ranks, Lawrence didn’t manage to get in a single bout last year, to which he attributes to circumstances beyond his control.
“I didn’t put anything on the board in 2018 because of fight cancellations,” Lawrence told MMAWeekly.com. “No fault of my own, opponents pulled out or the commission requesting an MRI four days out from a fight.
“I even got ready for a pro boxing match all the way up to the day of the fight where the opponent pulled out. It was a hard 2018, but I pretty much trained the whole year consistently getting ready for fights.”
While he was disappointed by the lack of bouts he had in 2018, Lawrence was able to persevere and use the time off productively.
“I realized I’m going to have to go through this and will probably have to go through it again,” said Lawrence. “Nobody said this was going to be easy. It’s just more time for me to hone my skills. I think it was meant to be, but I’m excited for 2019.
“I feel I’m a much more mature, patient, understanding fighter. I feel like I got better all across the board. I feel like a much smarter and more mature fighter. I don’t feel like I’m going to be as anxious come fight time.”
On Saturday in Shepherdsville, Ky., Lawrence (4-0) will finally return to action when he faces Chris Dunn (14-9) in a 145-pound main event at HR MMA 105.
“All of his losses are hard earned, and he’s beaten some pretty big veterans in this sport,” Lawrence said of Dunn. “It’s a true veteran going up against an up and comer like me.
“He’s a very good striker and has good takedown defense. If I can get him to the ground that would be great; but I’m not going to be anxious with the takedown; I’m very confident that my stand-up can hang with his. I think it’s a very good fight and I’m excited for the challenge.”
For Lawrence, after missing all of 2018, he’s just looking to take things as they come for the first half of the year before focusing on his life outside the cage to close out 2019.
“I think I’m just going to take it fight by fight right now,” said Lawrence.
“My goal in 2018 was to be in the UFC with about two or three victories behind it, but I’m just going to look to stay healthy after this February fight, and then get one more fight in May, June or July, then focus on my wedding at the end of the year.”