35-year-old Kamal Shalorus beat Eduard Folayang by Unanimous Decision at ONE FC 9. The win follows three straight losses inside the distance in the UFC, followed by his release.
He now works in the construction fields, having returned to school to get his contracting license, and is attending university with the goal of earning a degree.
Fighting is now his back-up plan.
In an extended interview with MMAFighting's Shaun Al-Shatti, Shalorus discusses what happened.
"To be honest, I tried to get a better job, a career," admitted Shalorus. "Fighting is not a career, especially - I have a problem with my family. I'm living in this country by myself, and when I go back to see my family they say, ‘What's you career?' They don't believe that fighting is a career.
"My first fight with Jim Miller, you know, Jim Miller is a good fighter. I had two injuries, but still I fought with my two injuries and I lost my confidence. For my second and third [fight], mentally I wasn't ready, to be honest."
"I shouldn't have been fighting at all. It built pain, I realized that fighting is dreaming. It's not a career. It's just, you have to do it as a passion, on the side with a job. So, now that pain [is gone], I have a job now, and I'm excited to be back fighting. It's something I like doing, like old days, WEC days."
"Sometimes when you lose, people change their attitude towards you. Sometimes even your good friends, they really, really disrespect you. You feel like it took your pride.
"You don't think mentally right. Fighting is, 99 percent of it mental. The physical is easy. I wasn't there. I didn't want to fight."
"Now I'm starting to get my pride back. I'm glad I covered that thing. I'm a different person. I want to fight. I didn't fight in my last three fights, to be honest. I didn't try. Now I don't want to feed that."
"Without fighting, I want to train, I want to fight. That's my passion. People like to paint, people like to [play music]. This is my passion, and that's why I'm still fighting. I still have a few good years left, brother. I'm not done yet."
"(ONE FC) have a really good organization. They're not like big UFC, but they're getting big too, so I like it."
"I'm going to fight ... and life is just going to keep going on, brother. But I need to get my pride back. They took my pride away. A man lives with his pride."
"That's why, mentally, I wasn't ready for my last three bouts. I was almost, 'My [head's] not good, but I have to do it.' So I found a job."
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