Cole Smith is changing his approach to fighting.
Last September at UFC Vancouver, Smith was set for his second UFC fight against Miles Johns in his home city of Vancouver. It was a big stage for him but unfortunately, the Canadian suffered a split decision loss. After the fight, Smith realized he was putting too much pressure on himself to win and is now just focused on winning fights.
“I learned way more from a loss. I train with a lot of undefeated amateurs here. They want to turn pro and I kind of want them to lose first so they can get that taste and be critical. I learned a ton from my loss with Miles,” Cole Smith said to BJPENN.com. “It was a big show for me, fighting at home in the UFC, I wanted to win too badly so I was pushing instead of letting the fight play out. The loss taught me to be patient. I am just looking forward to going out there and having a good time. I put too much pressure on myself last time as I wanted to win so bad so this one I just want to have fun.”
Now, nearly a year to the date of his first professional loss, Smith is returning to the Octagon to battle Hunter Azure. For the Canadian, he is glad he is getting the chance to compete again.
For his opponent, Smith knows it will be a tough fight but doesn’t think Azure has even won a fight in the UFC despite being 1-1.
“I don’t care man. If you are in the UFC you are a killer. I wasn’t really looking at anyone in particular,” Smith said. “I just wanted a full camp not taking the fight on short notice and they gave me a good amount of time so we accepted it.
“To be honest I don’t even know if he beat Katona, that was a really close fight. He’s a good wrestler, has heavy hands and throws a lot of volume,” he added. “He just looks like a tough, durable fighter. He doesn’t mix up his striking that much, just basic combos.”
Cole Smith believes if he has fun inside the Octagon the wins will start to pile up. So, for the Canadian, that is the main goal in his return fight.
“It is going to be a tough fight. You play it out in your head a million times and it could go wrong right away. I believe it will be a tough grinding fight,” he concluded. “I am not putting too much pressure on it. If I enjoy myself the win will come. Just perform to the best of my abilities.”
Who do you think will win, Cole Smith or Hunter Azure?