At Premier FC 30, Donnie “The Real Deal” Ballou defeated Josh Ricci to win their flyweight title. This was his second championship victory, previously he won the flyweight belt from HR MMA. I caught up with the highly touted flyweight to discuss his win and what is next for him
You came out fast in your last fight, getting the win in the first round, were you surprised at how you got the win over a very tough and durable opponent?
“I was not surprised at how fast I was able to get the finish. I pride myself on having a killer instinct, a knack for finishing fights. I set out to do things people haven’t done, I think being the first to finish him says a lot about my instincts as a fighter.”
This is your second title in your young career, how satisfying is that to you at this stage in your career and how do you improve upon this?
“Winning a second title is big for me, it opens more doors for opportunities. It’s all part of growing as a fighter, taking that next step in my career. The more quality fights I win, the more top notch fighters will want to step in there with me. I use this win to start capitalizing for bigger opportunities.”
How do you stay focused at flyweight with it not being as much of a talked about division in major organizations and is it your plan to stay their?
“It’s definitely hard to stay focused at flyweight when organizations aren’t so high on it. Nonetheless there are some great fighters out there at 125. I’ve moved up to 135 just because I was itching to fight. At this point in my career it’s important to surround yourself with a great management team ( Cage Side Management), and great coaches at DRIVE MMA, they know what’s best for me. I trust them, and I’m invested in the process. I know that I need to be patient and let them do their job, they are a huge part of me staying focused in the 125 division.”
When would you like to return to the cage and what organization do you anticipate it being for?
“I would like to return to the cage in April, or June. If given the chance I would love to showcase myself at a bigger promotion. First that come to mind is CES, WXC, LFA, Bellator. I’ll go wherever there is tough competition, wherever there is an opportunity to put myself out there in the spotlight. That’s what it’s about, shocking the world and climbing the ranks, beat the people that they say you can’t, I’m all about that.”