Following a year off from fighting, bantamweight Kyler Phillips returned to action on February 29 with a unanimous decision victory over Gabriel Silva at UFC on ESPN+ 27.
For Phillips, at the time he didn’t feel he did well, but having had an opportunity to sit back and look at his win more objectively he can be pleased with how he did versus Silva.
“I’m a perfectionist and I’m always critical of myself, especially right after the fight,” Phillips told MMAWeekly.com. “I didn’t think I actually did that great, but it’s like when you spar and you don’t think you did good, but you go back and watch the tape and you actually did really well.
“Of course you’re not going to land everything perfect, but I did pretty well.”
Phillips feels like the 2020 version of himself is much improved over the version that last fought in March of 2019, largely due to the perseverance he’s shown in keeping his career moving forward.
“I definitely feel the growth factor for the character strength has been tested the past couple of years,” said Phillips. “Not just testing myself, but been tested, and kept going forward and kept going.
“No matter what happened, take a loss or take a year off, it’s still in the gym, still working, still getting better every day. That’s what I’ve been doing, and you can tell it’s been paying off.”
Now that he’s had his first fight of the year, Phillips is hoping to keep his momentum going and not have a repeat of 2019 when he spent most of the year on the sidelines.
“My goal already is to get at least three fights this year, but if I can get four that would be perfect,” said Phillips before the current health crisis swept the globe, paralyzing the world. “If I could get a fight every quarter, or any opportunity that comes my way I’ll be ready. I’m going to fight for sure three times this year if I don’t get injured.”
While Phillips would like to have those fights with a full camp and preparation, he feels that in today’s MMA you have to be ready for anything at any time, so if he has to take something short notice he’ll be up for it.
“I want to be professional and have a good camp and everything, but also if the opportunity arises I’m going to take that, especially against somebody that’s ranked.”