Kennedy Nzechukwu needed more rounds in, out of the gym to make second DWCS shot count

LAS VEGAS – It took two tries, but Dana White’s Contender Series 16 winner Kennedy Nzechukwu (6-0) was finally able to stamp his octagon ticket.

What had to happen in Nzechukwu’s career after last August’s split-decision Dana White’s Contender Series 7 win, so that Tuesday’s meeting with Dennis Bryant (5-2) ended in emphatic enough fashion to be worthy of a contract? Well, it really isn’t that mysterious.

“It just took more rounds at the gym and more fights to get that experience,” Nzechukwu told reporters, including MMAjunkie, after the win. “Because that first time, I was still 1-0, but I didn’t really have that experience and cage awareness, and everything got to me. But, right now, I feel I was ready, and I just took it.

“I felt relaxed now. I felt relaxed and just focused. That tunnel vision just kicked in.”

Nzechukwu was actually 2-0 when he met Anton Berzin on his first Dana White’s Contender Series outing. He then went on to finish Andre Kavanaugh and Corey Johnson in regional action, before the first-round TKO of Bryant that streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas.

At 26, Nzechukwu has a few reasons to be confident in his game. He is, after all, undefeated. Not only that, with a background in soccer and marathons, he’s also aware that cardio – which we know can be a real killer in the cage – won’t be an issue for him.

He’s also aware, though, that his technique needs to be “cleaned up” a bit more as he moves forward in the highest levels of MMA competition. It’s a good thing, then, that the clearest plan that the 205-pounder has for his future is getting back to the gym and putting in the work to make sure that happens.

“Got to grind and keep grinding, man,” Nzechukwu said. “It’s hard work, that’s all. There’s no secret to this. Just keep working hard and keep thanking God after every victory.”

To hear more from Nzechukwu, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of Dana White’s Contender Series 16, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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