One of the most talented heavyweights in the Jackson Wink MMA Academy is on the comeback trail after seeing his time in the UFC come to an end.
The 30-year-old from Houston, Texas, remains one of the most dominant MMA heavyweights in the world and for a long time, if you were betting on Bovada sportsbook, you could see his name as a favorite in the odds. His targets will remain unchanged, despite his untimely departure from the UFC in 2020 after the company opted not to renew his contract after seeing out his rookie deal.
He is still one of the most valuable assets of Jackson Wink. Plus, the skills that he perfected and the reputation that he gained from his time in the world’s biggest MMA promotion certainly make him a draw outside of UFC now, but what could the future goal be, and what fights could be lined up for Adams over the coming years?
Time In UFC
Adams saw his reputation within the industry sore after being picked up by UFC as part of Dana White’s Contender Series 15. The heavyweight had enjoyed a dominant run in Legacy Fighting Alliance before being spotted, as he won all three fights that he competed in. However, it was during his run in the UFC web-series that saw him officially offered a rookie contract in the company. On the Contender Series, Adams was as dominant as ever in the octagon, as he beat Shawn Teed by technical knockout.
His official UFC debut would come less than five months later at UFC on Fox 31, as he faced off against Chris de la Rocha in December 2018. Adams made a dominant showing on his first outing in the UFC, as he won in the third round by TKO. However, a run of defeats would follow after that initial success, as he was beaten by Arjan Bhullar and Greg Hardy at UFC Fight Night 151 and UFC on ESPN 4, respectively.
Adams would later make his first appearance on a main UFC show, as he was included on the card at UFC 247 in February 2020. However, the night wouldn’t go as the American hoped, as he lost by knockout in the opening round against Justin Tafa. Four days later, it was announced by Adams that he had left the UFC after the company didn’t offer him an extension on his rookie deal. But, as one door closes, another opens, and Adams has wasted little time trying to get back to the pinnacle of the sport.
The American wasted little time getting back to action, as he made his return at Fury FC 46 against Jeremy Hardy. It was a dominant display for the former UFC star, as he won in the opening round of the contest after a flurry of punches. That domination would continue a few months later as he competed at Fury FC 48 in July 2021, where he beat Eric Lunsford in the opening round via submission. He was certainly catching the eye with every showing, and that was rewarded with a championship opportunity later in 2021.
It was a huge night in the career of Adams, as he hadn’t yet got his hands on a title during his professional career. He showed a different side to his fighting style that evening, as he eventually managed to wear down Richard Odoms before scoring the TKO win in the third would. Victory was a huge moment in his career, as his hard work was finally vindicated when he got his hands on the Fury FC Heavyweight Championship.
Unfortunately, the title run wouldn’t last as long as many would have hoped, as he was beaten for the title before the end of 2021. Austen Lane would score a ninth career TKO victory in that fight, as he captured the FFC Heavyweight Championship. That was the third heavyweight title that the former American Football player had won following his wins in the Warfare FC and CN Heavyweight titles matches in 2020, and 2021, respectively.
Following the defeat in the title fight, Adams has fought on two further occasions. He bounced back from the setback of losing the title in February of this year, as he beat Aaron Rose by TKO in the opening round at Fury FC 56. However, there was a slight gear change in his latest outing, as he fought in PFL for the first time. It was a dominant first showing for the former UFC star, as he beat Sam Kei in the second round via TKO.
What’s next is a big question that many are asking, but he has already shown dominance throughout his career outside of UFC. He is currently the top-ranked heavyweight in the Southwest and highest ranked heavyweight in Texas. Getting his hands back on championship gold could be his long-term target, which could mean putting together a run of wins to challenge for either the PFL Heavyweight Championship or returning to face Lane for the FFC Heavyweight title.