Nik Lentz has been competing in the UFC since 2009, boasting a record of 9-3-2 inside of the Octagon.
But “The Carny” hasn’t quite been able to reach the top, his most pivotal bout a loss to No. 1-ranked Chad Mendes at UFC on FOX 9 last year (December 14,2013) where he was controlled and dominated by Mendes’ wrestling over three rounds.
Lentz has recently made the move to Florida’s American Top Team and dropped from lightweight to featherweight. Lentz actually said he should not have competed at 155 pounds, and has proven it by compiling a 4-1 record at featherweight. According to MMAJunkie.com, Lentz was not happy with the way his career was looking before making the switches:
“Right at that time, my team kind of fell apart in Minnesota. A lot of the guys I trained with wound up retiring, guys like Sean Sherk, Nick Thompson, Derrick Noble. A lot of my main partners went away and I didn’t have anyone to train with, and instead of being a man and being smart, in my head I was kind of like, everything’s going to be fine. You can still train. You’re still tough. It wasn’t until I started having adversity, started not doing as well as I should, that it dawned on me, hey, you’re really messing this up, and you need to get your *** in gear.”
Lentz’s next fight will be a rematch against No. 14-ranked Charles Oliveria. Lentz first fought “Do Bronx” at UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry on June 16, 2011.
The bout ended in a No Contest due to an illegal knee, but “The Carny” feels confident that he will get the job done the second time around when he meets Oliveria on September 5, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 50 from the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut:
“When he feels the power, when he feels the speed, and when he feels the new Nik Lentz, he’s going to be sorry he called me out.”
Lentz also admitted that the old version of himself was fighting opponents that were better than he was and he knew that he was relying on toughness and determination to win fights:
“O was just a tough guy. But I still did pretty damn good with that.”
Fighting at his normal weight class and training with a better team, the rejuvenated Lentz will look to bouild a win streak against Oliveira. If Lentz can string a few more wins together, we may be adding another name to the long list of top featherweight contenders.