After spending the past year on a developmental deal following his first fight on Dana White’s Contender Series, new UFC light heavyweight William Knight has started 2020 in a big way. Three wins this calendar year, including a second Contender Series win, and his octagon debut this past weekend at UFC 253.
That fight, against Aleksa Camur, went the distance. Though Knight did have a chance to finish it in the second, thanks to a nasty looking kimura.
“I’m pretty sure if I had enough time, I could have readjusted and got the submission,” Knight admitted, speaking to Cageside Press in a virtual media scrum post-fight.
Knight, however, stuck to the game plan throughout. “No lie, my coach, he spoke this whole fight into existence,” exclaimed Knight. “He knew exactly what was meant to go down. Everything that went down out there, was like he had a crystal ball and he knew what was going on. I even told him it felt like deja vu, everything that went down.”
For example, Knight knew that Camur was likely going to stay on the outside of his power hand, “because my right hand has power. And then I knew they were going to try to clinch me, which was a weakness for me, but as you see I developed it as a strength.”
Three fight, three wins, and possibly one more before before the end of the year. It’s been a busy time for William Knight — but as he pointed out, that is nothing knew.
“I used to fight three times in one month. MMA, Muay Thai, and MMA again. Or I would fight in a tournament, fight five times in one night, and two weeks later, fight 205 in the cage,” he recalled of his early career. “People don’t understand, I come from a wrestling background. I wrestled four, five times in one day after weighing in. So the grind is real. They would say it’s different because striking is involved, but when you hit me, I get ramped up. It’s not like ‘okay he’s hitting me to hurt me.’ People think that I’m hurt, or I’m staggered, I’m ramping up.”
That, explained Knight, comes from a dark period of his life. “That comes from my past, that I don’t like speaking on, but I was abused as a child,” he revealed. “So me as an adult, I like to ramp up. It ramps me up, it wakes me up, it’s like an adrenaline rush.”
Watch the full UFC 253 virtual post-fight press scrum with William Knight above.