Stalwart of the New England MMA scene, Parker Porter made his professional debut in 2007. It took him nearly 13 years to get to the big show – a run that included bouts with Jon Jones and Gabriel Gonzaga.
Despite that long time in the game, Porter knows that he still wants and needs to evolve as a fighter. After picking up his first UFC win this past November, he didn’t see that as a time to sit back and marvel at what he had accomplished.
“I definitely put [cardio] as one of the foremost things that I needed to work on. Cardio has actually, especially earlier on in my career, been one of my strong points,” Porter explained. “I’m just one of those guys that never really got too tired during a fight. Even when I was a little tired, I was still able to perform.”
And while that has always been one of his strengths, and could be argued as part of the reason he handled Parisian as easily as he did, he feels like he had gotten away from his bread and butter. For his upcoming bout with Chase Sherman, he went back to that well.
“Recently, I had kind of gotten away from that aspect. I was walking around heavier – just not taking my diet really seriously,” he said. “[Now] I’ve lost a little more weight and really worked on and focused on my strength and conditioning.”
Some of that work was outsourcing the management of his strength and conditioning to a new spot. That spot just happens to be one that is going to push him no matter what.
“I got this guy I’m working with, Dan Esposito, who really knows his sh*t. He’s in there making sure I’m doing everything – not missing any workouts,” Porter said. “If I can’t get my cardio session in right at the end of the bar lifts, he’s calling me a couple hours later like ‘did you do your cardio?”
In addition to improvements in his gas tank, Porter also feels he’s made big gains in his striking. The footwork and angles are two big aspects that he feels he’s improved upon. Of course, those will be vital as he prepares, for a second time, to fight former bare knuckle boxing champion, Chase Sherman – who knows a thing or two on the feet. All of this growth though, has Porter more than sure that he’ll be able to get his first UFC winning streak under his belt.
“I know it’s going to be a finish in some way, shape or form,” he said.“It’s not going the distance.”
You can catch Porter’s fight with Sherman as part of the main card of UFC Vegas 34 this weekend. The fight will be aired on ESPN and ESPN+.
You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 2:04.