FRANS MLAMBO is out to prove John Kavanagh right after the trainer called him the 'fighter to watch out for'.
Mlambo – a sparring partner of Conor McGregor's and product of Kavanagh's Straight Blast Gym in Ireland – is 8-5 in his MMA career.
He recovered from losing two of his opening four bouts and now campaigns in the Bellator cage, where he has won three in four.
Coach Kavanagh – who guided McGregor to two UFC titles – tipped Mlambo as the brightest prospect in his gym.
He tweeted in 2018: "Very common question for me is which SBG fighter to watch out for.
"@FransMlambo had a hit and miss start going 2-2 but now 3-0 in last 3 with 2 1st Rd KOs.
"His next fight is for the @bravemmaf title. He is certainly one to keep an eye on."
Mlambo, 29, would go on to fail in his Brave FC title challenge, losing against Stephen Loman.
But having won four of his last six since, the South African-born bantamweight is building towards living up to his coach's expectations.
Come ere to me!! 👊🏽
A post shared byFrans Mlambo (@fransmlambo) on
Mlambo told SunSport: "I feel I've come along so much in my skillset. I was weak on the ground and that was my downfall and it gave me problems.
"But I feel like I've mended the problems I had and going forward to get to where I want to get to, I don't feel like I have long.
"I just need to make the right choices and this time next year, what I'm planning could happen if I play my cards right.
"I've got some skills but when I get in there I show it but I feel like when the time comes I'm not as technical as I should be.
"I feel like now my game has come along now where I can finally put on some really good stuff and I look forward to doing that."
Kavanagh shot to fame after first cornering UFC superstar McGregor in 2013, and the pair went on to title glory just two years later.
The trainer now oversees a host of careers ranging from experienced and rising stars, across all promotions.
Mlambo said: "The way he approaches everything is super calm and precise.
"You get the information no more or no less than you need. It just works and that's why he has such a good team behind him.
"He's awesome, he's just an awesome guy.
"When you have the crowd, it kind of pushes you on, but I didn't even need the crowd because I could hear him the whole time.
"He gives you an edge every single time."
Mlambo has fought only twice this year, with the coronavirus pandemic forcing fighters out of action.
But the gym-loving fighter was rewarded after staying fight ready throughout lockdown, as he beat Cory Tait last month.
He said: "It was awesome as we didn't really know what was going on. That card there was initially meant to be in Dublin.
"Then we heard it was in England but finally it happened in Milan. We was just kind of happy it finally happened.
"But usually in this situation I would be looking to get another one at the end of the year, but that's clearly not going to happen at this stage.
"It always pays to be ready to go."
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