Viral knockout sensation Clayton Carpenter considers himself built to make an impression on The Contender Series

Many fighters consider themselves built for the UFC, but very few have spent nearly their entire lives preparing for this opportunity.

It’s just one thing in particular that separates Clayton Carpenter from the rest of the crowd, especially since his martial arts training began when he was still just a child. It was through this upbringing that Carpenter amassed a hall full of trophies, including becoming a U.S. National Junior Champion in Muay Thai, a Junior Boxing Golden Gloves Champion, an IBJJF World Champion in the grappling gi and no contests. -gi not to mention serving as a member of Team USA Pankration where he counted current Bellator contender Aaron Pico as one of his teammates.

Now at 26 with a perfect 5-0 record in his fighting career, Carpenter is looking to add another accolade to his already impressive resume by securing a UFC contract.

“I’ve worked my whole fucking life for this moment since I was six years old,” Carpenter told MMA Fighting. “I’ve been preparing for this for quite a long time. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I feel good. My evolution is to a place where I never thought it would be able to reach. It It feels good. It feels good.

If Carpenter’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he first made headlines at the end of 2021 when he uncorked a spectacular header to finish Rodney Kealohi in the LFA in just 13 seconds.

That moment exploded into a viral video thanks to how quickly Carpenter dispatched his opponent, but it also served as a launching pad for him to fight on The Contender Series.

Of course, that knockout has been replayed thousands of times, raising expectations on Carpenter’s shoulders as he prepares to fight in front of UFC President Dana White as well as matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard. Tuesday evening.

As much as UFC brass and fans watching at home anticipate the possibility of another jaw-dropping finish, Carpenter has learned not to live up to those expectations even though he firmly believes he’s still capable. to achieve something even better one day.

“I think getting caught up in your own hype is the start of your demise,” Carpenter explained. “I have high expectations of myself and I plan to go out there and rip it up, but I’m just going there to have fun.

“Have fun, do my thing and I’m just here to sink. There are no expectations. I just go out there and have fun.

That said, Carpenter appreciates that he will have the opportunity to shine in front of a captive audience at UFC APEX rather than just debuting as a random undercard fighter.

He knows White will be sitting just yards from the octagon, quietly judging each fighter in hopes that at least two of them will be worthy of UFC contracts.

Carpenter has no doubt he has what it takes to compete with the best of the best in the flyweight division, but right now he’s bubbling with anticipation to prove he’s exactly the kind of fighter that the UFC president wanted when he started this competition some more. five years ago.

“I feel like it’s the fastest way for me to get to where I plan to be,” Carpenter said. “That’s what’s really cool about being the kind of fighter that I am. I’m already what people want, I think, and what Dana wants, IMHO.

“Me being me, going out there and doing my thing is what they want. I’m going there to get these bonuses. I’m going there to kill and if I don’t finish I’m upset If I don’t finish my opponent, I don’t consider it a loss, but it’s damn close.

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