Following a first round submission win over Stephen Stengel at Premier FC 30 in February, welterweight Nick Alley was looking to keep his momentum going when it was derailed due to the novel coronavirus lockdown.
Thankfully for Alley, he was able to make adjustments to his training during lockdown to keep himself evolving, and believes that he is a better fighter now for it.
“My intention, like everyone else’s, was to have a pretty big year,” Alley told MMAWeekly.com. “I had a really good fight camp (for Stengel); it was a really easy fight, in and out, so I was really eager to continue.
“One of the least expected, but best parts, of quarantine was the change of focus in how I was training. I thought what a perfect time to just sit down and analyze all the things that I’m doing well, the things that I’m doing wrong, and the things I need to improve on.”
For Alley the focus became working on things he could do solo until things opened up and he was able to have a more full camp again.
“We just went to drilling right away,” said Alley. “Especially with Covid and the way everyone had to train, maintaining distance, it was me drilling, doing intentional work, and filling a lot of holes. I was able to gain a lot of fundamental skills I needed to improve on.”
On Wednesday in Warwick, Rhode Island, Alley (6-3) will look to pick up his fourth win in a row when he faces John Gotti III (5-0) in the 170-pound main event of CES 61.
“John Gotti’s got a big name and has a good record, and the CES is one of the better promotions around here, so as far as the fight goes I’m excited,” Alley said. “I think to get the win I just need to be me. I need to go out there and put on the fight I know I can fight.
“I know a lot of people see me as a grappler, but I do a lot more than that and train for a lot more than that. I’m really excited to showcase all the skills. To beat a guy like Gotti you need to be able to fight everywhere. I need to be ready all around.”
Now that he’s back to fighting, Alley is looking to fulfill the career-long goal he has worked towards and finally make his move to the top level of MMA.
“I’m looking to get to the UFC like everybody else and try to get as high as I can,” said Alley. “That’s the goal and what I train for. When I visualize myself at the end of my career it’s with a UFC belt.
“Like everybody else, it’s whatever I need to do to get there. If Contender Series is next I’ll take that opportunity, if I have to keep fighting I’ll keep fighting. I’m no stranger to hard work. No matter the fight I don’t stop.”