Greeneville’s Steven New ready to rumble at Strikefest 2

Greeneville, Tenn. Before Steven New fights Nathan Williams in the main event of Strikefest 2 on Dec. 16 in Gray, Tenn., LIVE on, the Greeneville, Tenn., lightweight contender checked in with FightBookMMA.

How did you find MMA in the first place?

I wrestled in high school and some of my buddies talked me into signing up for a fight.

It was that simple?

Yeah, [laughs]. I was pretty gullible at the time.

How did that first fight go?

To be honest, it was terrible. It only lasted forty-three seconds, I got five stitches, a concussion, and choked out.

What is it that made you decide to take a second fight after all that?

I was an All-State wrestler and seeing myself get my butt handed to me – I didn’t like that. A couple of months later there was another show less than thirty minutes from my home. They asked if I wanted to fight, “yeah, but this time I’m going to train for a little bit.” I had a month’s notice to train and wanted to redeem myself. I won that fight and got hooked.

Does it add any pressure to fight in the main event?

I think it adds pressure, definitely. With it being so close to home, with two years off – there’s a lot more pressure. But that pressure is keeping me in the gym as much as possible.

What’s kept you out of the cage for two years?

Just some personal stuff. I tried to get a few fights over the summer – I was supposed to fight in August, then September, then I was trying to fight in early November. One show was moved, another was cancelled, then they couldn’t find me an opponent. I’ve been trying to find a fight for six months.

How does it feel with the fight almost here?

I’m excited, but the nerves and pressure are there. It’s a good nervous, it keeps me fueled. I’m excited to
work on all of the new stuff I’ve been learning and drilling.

Do you know much about your opponent?

I don’t know too much. I’ve tried to watch video on him, of course. But, he seems like he’s a real nice, humble, respectful guy outside the fight. It’s another sport and something we enjoy – it’s just business, really.

What’s the most likely outcome of this fight?

I think it’ll be a good fight. I see it going all three rounds. My goal is to stop him in the third round. I don’t see myself stopping him any earlier – his cardio is too good for him to gas out early. His submission and striking look too good for me to stop him any early. If it’s a stoppage, I’d say maybe third round, but I don’t see it going the distance.

What would you like to accomplish in 2018?

I don’t even know, yet. I’m just trying to take it one fight at a time since I’ve been off for two years. My goal is to get into the Ultimate Fighter or some other big organization. But, right now, I don’t want to look past Nate – he’s too good to look past him. My tunnel vision is set on him.


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