Coming off the heels of an abysmal 2018, CES bantamweight champion Tony Gravely had been seeking to keep his success from his first episode of 20-19 against Kris Moutinho in CES 54 in his first title defense.

While Moutinho managed to push Gravely in to the fourth round, the champion was in a position to eventually turn from the top, picking up a TKO to powerful sustain his title and also then pick up his fourth win in a row.

“Obviously starting the year off with a win is obviously great,” Gravely told MMAWeekly.com. “It was exciting. I suppose you could say it moved the way I expected it to go.

“Chris is a tough competitor. It’s good to not just secure wins over tough opponents, but to get another finish (as well) it started the year off right. I’m attempting to help keep the momentum moving and keep the ball rolling. ”

Together with two wins in his past 10 bouts, Gravely feels like he’s ’s been making the right adjustments in his game to be able to keep his success moving in 20-19.

This Friday at Hartford, Connecticut, Gravely (17-5) will look for his second straight successful title defense if he chooses on Darren Mima (10-7) at a 135-pound championship chief card bout in CES 55.

“Darren is just really a tough competitor,” Gravely said. “All technique a side, he’s a tough guy. I enjoy fighting people such as this. Technique is extremely opponent, but whenever you get into the later rounds it’s a coict of wills. It’s (comes down to) who may be the toughest and is not going to stop.

“He’so tough, but that I feel as though that I ’m rougher. I just need to do what I do: stay constant in my own pressure, don’t get trapped with whatever crazy, stay technical and also maintain that forward tension and put him at a pace he’s going to be in a position to maintain, wear him down and get the finish. ”

Should Gravely add to his winning series this Friday, it could help make his case for improving for the next level in 20-19. Until that movement happens though, he’s just seeking to take things one struggle at a time.

“” I presume whenever you consider it like you’re looking for this goal, this particular goal, and that goal, but should you just taking a look at that goal it is possible to overlook a lot of steps headed towards that goal,” said Gravely.

“Provided that I’m centered on myself and doing the very best I can at such fights and acting well, there’s no uncertainty that goal will soon probably come. ”

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