Tywan Claxton had a pretty nice logo already developed based on his flying knee finish from his first fight with Bellator MMA at Bellator 186. This was before flying knees became "super necessary" or any league-like promotion awarded points for quick finishes. "Air" has got the logo, the right attitude, and the skills in the cage to grow his brand in mixed martial arts. Now, he just needs the right situation to showcase his assets.
The Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix will likely help any of the fighters competing in that respect but for Claxton with only five fights under his belt, this situation could fast track his career. After his second fight in Bellator, Claxton once proclaimed he wanted to fight five times in a year. Well if being busy is what he wants, he got his wish come this September.
Claxton is one of 16 featherweight athletes that is competing in the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix that begins at Bellator 226. In one of many opening-round bouts, he faces a significant test in Emmanuel Sanchez. However, after speaking with the undefeated 26-year-old, he says Sanchez (18-4) will likely not show him anything he hasn't seen before.
"I've trained with guys that have similar experience," Claxton told Sherdog. This fight, like any fight, Claxton just wants to dominate. He knows the finishes make for nice highlights but it is not something he looks for. "Whether I'm dominating physically or mentally, I'm always looking to dominate," Claxton said about the fight ahead, "I'm not going in there looking for the highlight."
The format of the Grand Prix is not new to Claxton as he revealed he actually did a similar tournament in his amateur days. "The more frequently I'm in there, the better," Claxton said about looking at how the Grand Prix works. Claxton vs. Sanchez is one of four opening-round bouts at Bellator 226, which is headlined by Ryan Bader and Cheick Kongo.
Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since the first UFC. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.