Mr. Flying Knee? Bellator 194's Tywan Claxton trying to live down viral fame

13 February 2018

Tywan Claxton wanted to make a statement in his professional MMA debut.

Mission accomplished. Now what?

“I’ve got a couple more tricks that I’m willing to throw,” Claxton (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) told MMAjunkie Radio in advance of his follow-up at Bellator 194 opposite Jose Antonio Perez (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

It’s been tough for Claxton to live down the performance that made headlines around the world. Everywhere he goes, he’s the flying knee guy. Eventually, he stopped trying to fight it, even though he wanted to be known for more than one moment in time.

“I’m like, ‘Dude, I can strike. I’ve got kicks. I’ve got elbows. I can wrestle and do submissions,’” he said.

If Claxton is anything, he’s a avid learner. He appreciates diversity in skill-sets. He doesn’t like to be pigeonholed.

In his spare time, he taught himself how to code using Apple’s Swift programming language. Now, he spends almost as much time on the computer as he does on the mat.

“I have a degree in healthcare marketing, but I really don’t like healthcare,” he said. “So I just sit here and build apps between practice.”

For Claxton, the pursuit of excellence is a passion all its own. But with such a celebrated beginning in the cage, he struggled on how to deal with the next chapter of his career. He had to reset expectations.

Looking for that next highlight reel in the gym, Claxton said, wasn’t the solution. He had a rough two weeks in sparring before he realized he was going about things the wrong way. As good as that knee was, he’d have to forget about it and start over.

Now, Claxton tries very hard to think of himself not as a human highlight-reel, but an opportunist who uses the right tools for the job.

“Let’s stick to basics,” he said. “I confuse people with my angles, and something will come. I’ve been lights out ever since.”

If lights out means dropping partners in practice, the public could be in for another show Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., where Claxton and Perez kick off the Paramount-televised main card.

But don’t count on another knee just yet.

“I’m not going in there looking to throw that,” Claxton said. “I’m just going to go in there and fight how I like to fight.”

For more on Bellator 194, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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