Brad Katona reflected on his treacherous journey to rejoin the UFC.
In 2020, Katona was released by the UFC after suffering back-to-back unanimous decision losses against Merab Dvalishvili and Hunter Azure. After taking some time to decide what’s next, the Ultimate Fighter Season 18 winner signed with BRAVE Combat Federation, leading to three fights in Bahrain and one in Kazakhstan.
Kotana won all four fights with BRAVE, including two for the bantamweight title. The Canadian’s success led to a spot on The Ultimate Fighter Season 31.
At UFC 292, ‘Superman’ made history by defeating Cody Gibson to become the first fighter to win The Ultimate Fighter twice. Katona’s win against Gibson led to him earning a UFC contract, ending his time away from the worldwide leader in mixed martial arts.
During an exclusive interview with MiddleEasy, Katona opened up about his journey back to the UFC by saying:
“When I was in the UFC, I don’t feel like I was doing anything wrong. I was doing everything I possibly could, but what’s different this time? What is different? Well, I’m a whole lot more hardened. That was a hard road to get back. It nearly broke me, it nearly broke me, but we’re here. I think you can see in my striking, the aggressiveness, the meanness, the nastiness. A lot of that has come from my training coach Dave Roach, and he’s been a new addition the past two years.”
“We laid so much groundwork, such a solid foundation that my improvements is going to be accelerating. It’s not just going to be linear. It’s not just going to be stepping up. We’re actually going to be accelerating, so I’m excited in three, four month’s time, the new version of me. It just makes me so happy to know I’m on this path. We did so much work, and it’s starting to show in the fight.”
Brad Katona reveals when he hopes to fight next
Brad Katona is returning to the UFC with championship aspirations. Although he recently endured a war at UFC 292, Katona is considering returning to the Octagon before the end of 2023. During the same exclusive interview with MiddleEasy, ‘Superman’ had this to say about when he plans to return:
“It’s the boring answer, but I’m on strict orders from my coach to somewhat enjoy the moment. Again, we talked about stability. I haven’t seen it in nearly four years… With that said, there’s a big pay-per-view in December, and I’m 100% healthy. So, if that’s a possibility, fantastic. I don’t even know if it is… December could be very exciting. A UFC Canada card would also be amazing. Those are the two, at least in my head, where I’m going.”
It’s unclear where Katona stands in the UFC bantamweight division. He will likely need at least one win before fighting someone ranked. With that said, ‘Superman’ has proved he’s made significant improvements since his first promotional tenure. Only time will tell what’s next for the two-time Ultimate Fighter winner.