Learning on the job isn’t ideal in some professions, but that’s what Scottish heavyweight fighter Louie Sutherland has been doing in his young fighting career.
For a fighter, especially a mixed martial artist, it’s a common occurrence. Sutherland (4-1), who will be fighting for an opportunity to earn a PFL contract at 2023 PFL Challenger Series 3, has found early success, but knows he’s still working out the kinks in his game.
“I always want to be involved in the best fights possible, the exciting fights and so forth,” Sutherland told MMA Junkie Radio. “But I understand that this is MMA, and everyone’s going to have a gameplan. … I’m learning a bit more of how to manage fights better and be a bit more professional in that sense, rather than just going out all guns blazing, and being an absolute wrecking ball.”
Sutherland, 29, became a professional MMA fighter in 2021. In his first four fights, he didn’t make it out of the first round. That is, because he left his opponents lying on the canvas. In his fifth fight, he got a taste of the PFL stage, but walked away with a disappointing first loss of his career.
“You see in my last fight, I was, in a sense, trying to show off what I was capable of, and I didn’t really get wrapped up in the moment of, ‘Oh, I need to put on a show,'” Sutherland said. “… I just went out there and I was myself. That’s all I can be. I’m not going to lie to anyone. I do want to be exciting. I want to be a fan-favorite, and that’s just the style I have.
“So, I definitely have to manage it and learn how to manage it. Like I tell a lot of people when they first meet me, I’m learning on the job. That will come with time and that will come with experience.”
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The on-the-job training has fared well early in his career, aside from his latest decision result. With more time and experience, Sutherland believes he has one of the most important intangibles to go along with the physical tools to be successful in the sport.
“A lot of people don’t have the dog in them,” Sutherland said. “I know for sure I’ve got the dog. Now, I just need to tame him a little bit, and unleash him when he needs to be unleashed if that makes sense.”
Check out the full interview with Sutherland on MMA Junkie Radio in the video below.