Having already had one performance in front of UFC management with a win at Dana White’s Contender Series earlier this year, middleweight Joseph Holmes was looking to secure a spot in the company when he faced Jhonoven Pati at Fury FC 53 on November 14.
Just under the half-way point through the first round, Holmes was able to TKO Pati, and in the process earn a UFC contract and move on to the next stage of his career.
“I feel like (the fight with Pati) actually went as good as it could have possibly went,” Holmes told MMAWeekly.com. “I didn’t plan on knocking him out, but the combination I did knock him out with was something we’d been working on a lot the last 10 days of my camp at Glory MMA.
“I’m very proud of myself and with how that fight turned out. It definitely left me some momentum to enter the UFC with.”
Having been working towards getting to the UFC since starting his pro career in 2019, Holmes admits that actually achieving that goal is something he’s still realizing and is a very surreal feeling.
“It’s still sinking in,” said Holmes. “I think about it every day. I’m constantly getting reached out t by new people congratulating me or telling me I have a new fan. It’s brought a lot of new feelings out of me. It’s very exciting stuff. It feels great just because it feels like I’ve been inspiring people.
“I’ve been going to the gym and I get a different feeling at the gym by all the people training at SFS MMA in Dallas, Texas. I feel like people are feeding off this energy and are using the momentum as well to better not just themselves but the gym as a whole and the community.”
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Having capped off his 2021 by making it to the UFC, looking back on this year has Holmes realizing how much work he had put in to make this move happen.
“This year was busy, but it was definitely required busy and needed to be done for the next step of my career,” Holmes said. “It’s been incredible. This year has been a dream come true.
“I’ve taken some tough fights and have gotten through them mostly unscathed and gotten to the UFC healthy, I’ve mastered my weight cut, and I’m just so ready to make this next step for sure.”
While he wants to take one thing at a time, Holmes does have an idea of the path he wants take in his coming UFC run.
“I am trying to map out my route in this division,” said Holmes. “There are a lot of guys, and I don’t want to just look at the bottom of the roster because I’m new. So I definitely have been getting some names and trying to map out of a good route for myself to get to the top of the roster as quickly as possible.”
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