Childhood dreams rarely come true, but they seem to be coming to fruition for Danville’s Dylan Lockard.
Article Courtesy of the Eagle Tribune-
The former Timberlane wrestling standout won his MMA professional debut earlier in the month, with a unanimous featherweight decision over Mak Kelleher of New York in a three-round CES fight at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.
Wrestling at 145 pounds with four amateur wins to his credit, that left the 24-year-old Lockard at 5-0 overall as he continues to live his dream.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of MMA,” said Lockard, who was a state champion at 152 pounds for the Owls back in 2010. “I began watching fights when I was 12-years-old and I knew it was something I wanted to do.
“I was already hooked but I remember going to a match in Boston with my dad in 2010 and I thought it was great.”
That Lockard, who got an associate’s degree from UNH after graduating from Timberlane, is undefeated in MMA may be a bit surprising if you look back at the difficult start to his wrestling career at Timberlane.
But, if you consider how he improved during his career as an Owl, it’s completely understandable. Just 8-22 as a freshman, he improved to 20-20 as a sophomore, was 15-11 as a junior and then 38-9 as a senior.
“He just kept getting better and better and by his senior year he was very good,” said Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian. “He never backed down. … I’m not surprised by his success in MMA.”
Lockard’s rise on the mat, and his eventual success, has been instrumental in his quick ascent in the ring.
“The wrestling helps outs a lot and gives me something to fall back on,” said Lockard. “Plus it teaches you how to be disciplined and train hard.
“I have the same work ethic I had then. I work hard and I think I put in more work than others. Plus, I have a great team to help.”
When in a pinch, Lockard — who trains five days a week at the Professional Martial Arts Academy in Derry — relies on his wrestling background, but he has become proficient in jiu jitsu and he’s working hard on his striking technique.
“There is so much to learn in MMA, so I’m working on everything all the time, but probably the most with the striking,” said Lockard, who has been working as a painter during the days.
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In five matches, Lockard has three decisions and two submissions, recording an overwhelming decision in his first pro fight.
The victory over Kelleher was the first of a three-fight deal Lockard signed with CES. He hopes to fight again in November.
Looking ahead, Lockard doesn’t have a specific goal, wanting to just “keep fighting and keep enjoying it,” but one gets the sense that, with the way he’s going and his approach, he should take his fighting to yet another level.
“I always tell myself that if I keep working hard I’ll get to where I want to be,” he said. “It’s been my mindset since high school.”
Lockard’s RISE AS OWL
2007 — 8-22
2008 — 20-20
2009 — 15-11