Blake Bilder knew going to Australia to fight Shane Young at UFC 284 would pose some problems.
Bilder was making his debut against Young who hails from New Zealand and is used to the time zone and didn’t have a long flight. Along with that, with what time the card was on in Australia, it meant fighters not having the usual time to rehydrate as well as an early wake-up call to fight.
“We had to be up at 4 in the morning,” Bilder said to BJPENN.com. “We had to be in a room with all the other fighters at 4:30. Everyone cut weight and made weight at the same time, but all the early prelims guys had to be up at 4 and in the room by 4:30 to leave for the arena and have hands wrapped by six. I think I fought at like 7, 7:30 in the morning so it made it tough.”
Although Bilder has to fight early in the morning, he says he was ready and firing on all cylinders once the scrap started. He had a good first-round mixing in his wrestling and striking and after a close second round, he knew he had to get the third round, which he did.
Once the final bell rang, Bilder knew he would be getting his hand raised and was happy with his performance.
“I felt really good, I went to my corner after the fight and was confident I won,” Bilder said. “I knew I won the first and third rounds. The second round was a toss-up and I thought I could’ve got that too. Once I heard it was unanimous, I knew I was getting my hand raised.”
With Blake Bilder picking up the win in his UFC debut and not taking much damage, the goal for the American is to be active as possible. Along with being active as possible, he hopes to get another known named opponent next time out as he says this is a race to the belt.
“I want to stay active this year,” Bilder said. “My management and I are already in talks about what could be next. I’m already training, we are back in the gym and getting ready. Mentally, I’m ready for the next fight. This is a race to the belt and I’m always looking to fight guys ahead of me.”
However, before Bilder can get another fight, he says he has to get an x-ray on his right hand. Bilder says it is a bit swollen, but he doesn’t think it is broken. Assuming it isn’t broken, Bilder hopes to get back in there in the next two to three months.
“Soon. I just have to get my right hand looked at. One of those right hands I landed made my hand a little puffy by the thumb area,” Bilder concluded. “I hit him with a mean overhand right, and I think I got part of his shoulder. It feels fine, I just have to get an x-ray. But assuming that’s all good I would like to fight in the next two or three months.”
Who would you like to see Blake Bilder fight next?