UFC FN 36: Joe Proctor Say He’s “Added a Lot More Tools to my Belt” After Missing 2013 Campaign
By Kelsey Mowatt
If you take a quick look at the record of Joe Proctor, one could quickly conclude that 2013 didn’t unfold in the manner the lightweight thought it would. The reason being, of course, that the year went by without seeing Proctor fight. In fact, when Proctor steps into the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 36 to throw down with Cristiano Marcello, over 14 months will have gone by since his last bout.
Following a decision loss to Ramsey Nijem in December, 2012, Proctor was booked to fight Al Iaquinta at UFC 159 last April. Proctor was forced to drop out due to injuries, however, and the 28 year-old’s 2013 campaign came to an end.
“I was supposed to fight Al Iaquinta in Jersey, and I actually was really looking forward to that fight, but just a string of injuries just kept happening,” Proctor recalled on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently. “I actually hurt my shoulder in the Ramsey fight, and I took a little time off, I felt good, I got back to training camp and it started to hurt more and more everyday.”
“Finally to top things off, I was sparring and I broke two ribs,” Proctor revealed. “So I had to back out of that fight.”
Although last year marked the first time Proctor has gone without fighting, since he turned pro in 2009, the TUF 15 vet says there were positives to draw from.
“It was kind of like a blessing in disguise,” said Proctor (8-2), who stopped Jeremy Larsen at the TUF 15 Finale in June, 2012, prior to facing Nijem. “I took some time off after that fight, I got my shoulder fixed, I got surgery, went through recovery and everything, and it feels a million times better now.”
“During that whole layoff I was constantly thinking about new combinations, and new stuff I wanted to work on,” Proctor added later in the interview, when asked if a new-and-improved fighter will face Marcello, February 15th. “I started to work on those things, added a lot more tools to my belt, and I really can’t wait to show them off.”
While some fighters would be hard hit financially if they went over a year without competing, Proctor also uses his skilled hands for another line of income.
“I don’t have a part-time job, I have a full-time job,” Proctor relayed. “I work five, six days a week doing carpentry, building houses, remodelling and stuff…I still train full time, but, it’s a really hectic schedule when it comes to training camp.”
But would Proctor continue to work a ‘nine-to-five’ job, even if he was making say six figures in the UFC annually?
“Oh yeah, 100%. I like working; it kind of changes things up and kind of keeps things from getting stagnant, training all the time,” said Proctor. “Once training really feels like a job it doesn’t become fun anymore. You don’t really want to do it; you don’t really have the drive anymore. So me working, and training, I think it keeps training fun and keeps me excited to keep getting in there, and keeping working on new things all the time.”
UFC FN 36 will be hosted by the Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, and will feature Lyoto Machida taking on Gegard Mousasi in the main event.