Staying in the present moment is more important than ever to Solomon Renfro.
The mindset stems from suffering his first professional loss last December, a first-round submission defeat to Mike Malott at CFFC 91. Although Renfro bested Malott on the feet for the majority of the first round, Malott landed a counter-right hand that put Renfro down. Malott secured the rear-naked choke from there.
The 24-year-old admits his mind was not all there after hearing the news of a close friend suddenly passed away just moments before the fight. Renfro learned from the loss and is determined to prove his loss to Malott was a one-time deal.
The mission continues with his welterweight bout against Nick Alley at CFFC 94, on UFC Fight Pass this Thursday, April 1.
“Enjoy the moment, don’t look too far ahead, don’t look too far behind,” Renfro said.
“I wasn’t in the right mind, I wasn’t present. If I am present like I usually am, enjoy the moment, go out there and have fun, no one is going to beat me.”
Solomon Renfro motivated by words from Shane Burgos
Renfro is now carrying a new mantra told by his teammate and current UFC featherweight Shane Burgos, following the loss.
Burgos explained a setback is needed to spring toward success. Since Renfro lost, he’s only thought about getting back into the cage.
Just a day removed from his defeat, Renfro returned to training at Tiger Schulmann’s in New Jersey. Only two weeks removed from the fight, Renfro was asking the CFFC for another fight.
He’s loss just once before in his career, stemming back to his amateur career in 2015. After suffering a split decision loss to Armus Guyton, Renfro rattled off 12-consecutive wins between his amateur and professional career.
Renfro is ready to be the arrow once again.
“Right after I lost the fight, my big-bro Shane called me, that’s exactly what he said, ‘Think of it like a bow and arrow. You have to be drawn back before you can really [expletive] shoot,’” Renfro said. “Honestly, that’s been on my mind ever since.”
Renfro looks to rebound against a surging Alley. Alley is currently on a four-fight win streak, most recently handing John Gotti III his first professional loss, by decision at CES 61 this past October.
Alley is skilled on the ground, winning three of his last four victories by first-round submission. Renfro previously pitched two other opponents to the CFFC, but Alley stepped in to sign on the dotted line.
“He’s tough, but tough guys don’t last in this sport. You have to have everything. I have everything,” Renfro said. “I honestly don’t like saying his name because I don’t like to disrespect the dead.”
The UFC is on the mind of Renfro. The welterweight is confident a win over Alley could be his last before making his octagon debut. Whether it is through Dana White’s Contender Series or a call-up to the UFC, Renfro says he is destined to not just be in the UFC, but to be champion.
Currently on the regional scene, Renfro is trying to prove his worth to bigger promotions. He sees the loss to Malott as a minor setback, more fuel for what’s to come.
Renfro’s focus is on getting back into the win column and he expects it to show on Thursday night.
“Everyone is always like, ‘Solomon is a [expletive] talker,’ I’m not talking [expletive], I’m talking facts, everything I said is a fact,” Renfro said. “I’m a very humble man, I’m humble when I need to be, I’m confident because of the work I put in. I’m going to show that.”
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.