If Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series is supposed to be a platform for young and upcoming fighters to take their career to the next level, Chris Ocon is just looking to keep his perfect record in tact. Knowing that he wanted to be a fighter straight out of high school, Ocon is 4-0 in his professional career and went 2-0 in his amateur career, and that has led him to get a call to be on this summer’s season of Contender Series with an opportunity to earn a contract into the UFC.
The bantamweight fighter out of Tennessee will fight on July 9 for Contender Series, not only looking to extend his undefeated streak but also looking to secure a UFC contract. Ahead of the biggest opportunity in his young career, Ocon spoke with MyMMANews about the opportunity to fight on Contender Series, the trajectory of his carer, and more.
Starting off and remaining undefeated throughout the early stages of his career, Ocon can only sum up his career to be “surreal” at this point.
“It’s been surreal.I first started fighting when I was right out of high school, like two months after I graduated. I remember being like super nervous, had my first fight, but after I got that first win I got hooked on it. This whole sport being 1-on-1 and it being all on you, is something that I love. I’m just blessed to have the career I’ve had so far.”
Growing up with a wrestling background, he was shown an old UFC fight, and that’s when he knew he wanted to get into MMA. Having interest early on in the sport and having early success in his career have gone hand-in-hand for Ocon but he says he’s learned plenty of lessons along the way.
“Hard work gets you far in this sport. Like you said, I’ve won every fight but not every fight has been easy. Sometimes I’ve had to gut it out and some fights have been easy peasy, but what I’ve learned the most is hard work gets you far in this sport.”
While many don’t look at the Southeast region of the country as a hot bed of MMA prospects, Ocon is hoping to elevate not only his own career, but the area he comes from through his Contender Series fight. Chris Ocon wasn’t expecting the call for Contender Series, yet he plans on making the most of the opportunity.
“I was supposed to fight for LFA sometime in May and for me, that was awesome. It was like hell yeah my name is finally getting out there. Literally a couple days after that my manager hit me up and said they wanted me on Contender Series. For me, everything has been moving fast-paced and almost like surreal. I know whenever I step out there I’m going to shine and put on a good show.”
Realizing that his moment and opportunity is here, Chris Ocon doesn’t feel any pressure heading into his Contender Series fight on July 9 as he’ll fight in front of Dana White himself, instead, he feels all the pressure coming from himself.
“Most of the pressure is coming from the fact that this is my moment and this is the moment I’ve been dreaming about. This contract can change my whole life, this is everything I’ve been working for. Being able to win that contract to make my family proud and be able to provide for them, I know winning that contract will make me able to do that. Outside of that, I don’t feel any pressure, I’m just ready to go.”
Ready to go and ready to make a statement, Chris Ocon realizes the opportunity he’s been dreaming of is right in front of him, and he plans to secure the UFC contract and extend his winning streak all on the same night.