While he wasn’t as active as he would have wanted to be in 2019, welterweight Mike Graves considers the year a successful one.

Though he missed much of the latter half of the year for various reasons, he did manage to kick off 2019 with a title victory, which made all the difference in how he viewed the year.

“I had some injuries and had a little bit of a hard time getting a fight, but other than that it was a good year,” Graves told MMAWeekly.com. “I won a belt for Titan (FC). It was pretty successful, got a good job, so 2019 was pretty good for me.”

Though he had to sit out over half of 2019, Graves was able to put a lot of work into his game and feels it will pay off in 2020.

“It’s frustrating because you always try to peak for the fight and get your training acclimated to the day of your fight, so when you constantly have to change it, it gets a little frustrating,” said Graves. “I just try to stay consistent.

“I’m always improving and I’m always working on things and always getting a little better, a little more in shape, so it’s the same old me but a little bit better version.”

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On Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Graves (8-1-2) will look to defend his title for the first time when he faces Yuri Villefort in the 170-pound championship main event of Titan FC 59.

“He’s tough guy who’s been around for a while,” Graves said of Villefort. “I’m going to stick to my guns and do what I’ve been doing; same game plan.

“(Headlining in a title defense or the opening bout) for me a fight is a fight. I’m just going to go in there and do my thing.”

Having had previous years derailed for various reasons, Graves is looking to go one fight at a time in 2020 and see where it leads him.

“I always say I want X amount of fights each year, so I just try to go fight by fight,” said Graves. “Whenever I have a fight I try to make sure that it happens and that as ready for it as I can be, and afterwards go from there.”


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