When it comes to his unanimous decision victory over Cameron Church at Dana White’s Contender Series 2020 this past September, though he wasn’t able to secure a UFC contract lightweight Sherrard Blackledge was nonetheless pleased with how the fight turned out.
While Blackledge was on the defensive more than he would have liked to have been versus Church, he was able to showcase more aspects of his game because of it and is happy he was able to present more of a multi-dimensional skillset than he had previously.
“I thought it was a great fight for me, especially a good entry into what to expect from the UFC,” Blackledge told MMAWeekly.com. “Cameron was a tough dude. No doubts I’ll probably see him in the UFC later on.
“I was really happy about it. I was able to show everything. I was able to show that I could strike backing up; a lot of time strikers aren’t too well-rounded on that; they’re not really able to strike on the defense and still be offensive with it. I think I was able to really showcase what I was able to do.”
Following the win over Church, Blackledge figured he wouldn’t be offered a UFC contract, but felt he did enough to get a second look, so focused on that instead.
“I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to get the contract right away,” said Blackledge. “Especially being only 4-0 and coming out 5-0, especially with how stacked the lightweight division in, to come in with such a premature record is kind of unheard of.
“I had a feeling I was going to fight this fight (with Church) and have to come back and show it again. They invited me back. It shows they wanted to see a little bit more from me.”
On November 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Blackledge (5-0) gets his second shot at a UFC contract when he fakes on Tucker Lutz (10-1) in a main card 155-pound bout at Dana White’s Contender Series 2020: Week 10.
“I don’t feel that Tucker is the type of guy to really force you on the back foot, so I feel like I’m going to be able to open up a lot more,” Blackledge said. “I think overall he’s better, he’s sharper, but I don’t think he has the same heart and same attitude as (Church did). My last guy really wanted it, but I don’t get it from this guy.
“I think I’m going to be able to open up and do my thing. I think this match-up is perfect for what I like to do. He can come in and try to shoot, try to strike with me, but I think I beat him anywhere he wants to go.”
For Blackledge however he gets into the UFC is fine with him, as he sees multiple match-ups he’d be willing to take whenever the UFC gives him the opportunity.
“I go on the internet and scroll through these cards saying ‘I’d fight him, I’d fight him, I’d fight him’, I’m already in my mind pressing (that button),” said Blackledge. “If (the UFC) called me today I’d say ‘I’d fight him’. I’d fight whoever they’d put in front of me.”