URCC champ Easterling eager to prove himself in the wake of De Tomas’ reign

Derrick Easterling URCC

Derrick Easterling is the new big dog of the URCC flyweight division, and he wants the world to know it.

When Easterling won the URCC flyweight interim belt last January, he had his eyes on facing then-champion CJ de Tomas to unify the belts for the spot as undisputed champion. In fact, he had put in half a year preparing for “The Goldenboy.”

However, their fight didn’t push through, as de Tomas moved to the UFC. It was a weird feeling for the Filipino-American when he first learned the news on social media. On one hand, he was happy for de Tomas. On the other hand, he was also frustrated that all his hard work preparing for de Tomas seemed to have been for nothing.

“Knowing that I wouldn’t fight CJ (to unify the URCC belt) anymore, I was frustrated because I was training almost six months for him, for that fight,” Easterling told Dojo Drifter. “I was almost like in a marriage with that whole fight. I built a relationship with that fight.”

“Once he got signed and I knew I wasn’t fighting him, I had to let go,” he added. “One, I was happy for him with his career and he was able to go into the UFC. And two, once I moved past that, then I looked at it as the URCC being a platform for me to get into the UFC.”

Now motivated to prove himself as a champion, Easterling is expected to make his first title defense after being elevated to undisputed champion status. He says that he has no ill-feeling towards the Pinoy UFC fighter. Despite de Tomas’ recent loss in Singapore, Easterling believes that the former URCC champ did his best and will learn from the experience.

“I believe that CJ was going in there to win too, and I think that he had no doubt in his mind that he wasn’t gonna lose.”

“The good thing for him was that it went the distance so he got that ‘Octagon experience,”‘ says the champion. “As for my case, I would’ve done the best I can too to finish the fight or get the W.”

As for his upcoming defense, Easterling wants to make his presence felt. Raring to show everyone that he is more than capable champion in his first fight in Manila.

“You’re gonna see a lot of my skillset,” said Easterling. “Fans are gonna see me mixing it up with my striking, my kickboxing, my wrestling, and my jiu-jitsu. They’re gonna see an exciting fight.”

Mike Miguel

If there’s anything MMA related going down in the Philippines, Mike would know about it. With a knack for photography and social media, Mike never misses a beat.
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