A late change of opponents hasn’t quelled the confidence of undefeated middleweight prospect Tim Caron, who hopes the second time will be the charm in nabbing an exclusive Bellator contract. He’ll now be facing Steve Skrzat on Friday at Bellator 163.
There was some initial frustration and disappointment when Caron’s original opponent, Mike Zichelle, was forced to withdraw from the fight. Opportunities to compete on a mainstream show don’t come around often, and Caron was hoping to make a good enough impression to potentially sign an exclusive contract with the promotion. He hasn’t been in the professional fight game long, and a nomadic fighting schedule is already taking shape in his young career.
He has competed in three different promotions in his last three fights, including Bellator, Combat Zone and Reality Fighting.
Bellator could have moved and scrapped his fight entirely after Zichelle left the card, but the promotion liked him well enough to actively search for a replacement opponent. Caron hopes it’s a good sign of things to come.
“I was happy to have [Bellator] call me back to be on the show again and hopefully to show my awesomeness again and be on the main event soon,” Caron told Today’s Knockout. “That’s always the plan to further the career with this fight, whether it be Bellator wants to sign me or the UFC is looking at me. I have high hopes for all of it.”
It’s been a quick journey for Caron from his days as an Air Force military officer to competing in one of the premier organizations in MMA. Fighting professionally was nothing more than some crazy thought in the back of his mind initially, back when he was an avid fan of the sport and often watched it on television.
“Anderson Silva has always been one of my favorites,” said Caron. “And Andrei Arlovski.”
But the thought of actually competing didn’t cross his mind until he was transferred from his station in Germany to Albuquerque, where a little gym known as Greg Jackson’s MMA opened Caron’s mind to consider punching people in the face for a living. He took the knowledge he received from that gym all the way back home to Burgess MMA in New Hampshire.
All of that wisdom, combined with great coaching and training partners, has Caron riding hot with a 5-0 record and five finishes. It’s not often that such a short resume elicits the kind interest Caron has from Bellator. There is no shortage of motivation as he tries to cement his spot in the promotion with another impressive performance on Friday night.
“I feel great for this fight,” said Caron. “I did a few extra things — waking up early, doing sprints and bleachers before I did my regular job and then I went to training. So mentally and physically I am ready to go and put it all together in the cage on Friday.”
Caron admittedly doesn’t know a whole lot about Skrzat other than the fact that he hits hard and he’s built like a Marvel superhero. He carries an 8-8 record with seven wins coming by knockout. So there really is no secret to what Skrzat is looking to do in the fight.
Staying on his toes and being acutely aware of every incoming strike will be key to Caron’s survival.
“I don’t know a whole lot about him. I guess he’s been on the scene for a while. He’s kind of a similar Mike Zichelle build and game plan,” Caron said. “I know he’s going to come out and throw bombs because he’s got muscles like the Hulk. His arms are huge, but I’m very good at keeping my distance and picking people apart and that’s probably what I’m going to do.”
Caron is also good at getting opponents into “The Bear Trap,” an old school maneuver he renamed while utilizing it in the gym. Professional wrestling fans might confuse it with the headscissors, and MMA fans likely have no idea what Caron is talking about.
Perhaps he’ll give a live demonstration on Skrzat.
“It’s not going past the first round,” Caron said. “It’s either going to be a head kick knockout or he’s going to get trapped in the bear. The bear trap is a neckscissors. I just renamed it.”