Matt “The Paperboy” Tullos, the up-and-coming MMA fighter out of Connors MMA Academy in Norwood MA, has his second pro MMA fight June 10 for CES MMA at Twin River Casino in Rhode Island. Tullos won his first pro fight in the CES promotion in the first round via rear naked choke. His second fight will be another big test against the up-and-coming Serra jiu-jitsu fighter out of New York, Merab Dvalishvili.
Merab has a pro record of 2-2 and is looking to get his second straight win. Merab has four previous professional MMA bouts underneath his belt, all coming at the bantamweight division. He is stepping up a weight class to the featherweight division for this upcoming fight against Tullos. Merab trains at the world renowned Serra Jiu-jitsu gym, the gym of former UFC Welterweight champion Matt Serra, and home to the former UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
Merab seems to be a true test for Tullos to get his second pro win in as many fights, but he always remains confident in his abilities. Talking about Merab with Tullos he told me he is a “tough guy who looks like a powerful grinder. Nothing I haven’t seen before.” Tullos is so determined and focused on his mission that he is not thinking too much about what his opponent is going to do, he is focused on what he needs to do. Not that he does not have respect for his opponent, but when I asked if he has been training on anything for Merab specifically he told me “I haven’t been training anything specifically for him. I’ve been focused on improving my own skill set. His skill set doesn’t matter to me because I’m just going to go out there and make him fight my fight.”
I talked to Matt about what motivates him to fight and I was taken back by the humility and perspective he has at such a young age.
“My motivation to keep going is the lives of the people who have supported me and helped along the way. It’s also a stage for me to possibly inspire others who are struggling with something in their life or they’re unsure they can get into the sport.”
“I’m inspired by the people who go through hardships everyday. My life is easy compared to most people….Family, friends, strangers…seeing them all be strong throughout hardships really puts life in perspective. I can’t complain about anything. I get to do what I love everyday and have supportive people around me.”
I believe no one can be successful in anything in life without the right mind set and perspective on life, and for Matt “The Paperboy” Tullos it seems to come naturally. To be as successful as he has become, so quickly and at such a young age, you would think he would have gotten cocky. Running through his amateur bouts and winning his first pro fight in dominating fashion. It seems like he is doing everything right, but he makes sure he keeps everything in perspective and takes his career one fight at a time. Although he will never show cockiness, his confidence continues to grow every day.
“I gain my confidence through my preparation. I take each fight separately and try to make sure I’m improving each time. I feel like focusing on your last victory can give you a false sense of security. You can’t start believing in your own hype. Enjoy the victory for a night and then start fresh and focus on improving and gain your confidence through all of the hard work and improvements you’ve made.”
“The Paperboy” has dedicated his life to MMA, and it is all starting to pay off. Becoming a pro was the first step, being able to say I am a professional fighter is a huge step, but it just the start of a career. At 23 years old and about to fight in his second professional fight, the possibilities for the future are endless.
Next Friday night Matt “The Paperboy” Tullos will fight Merab Dvalishvili for CES MMA at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island. I will be attending the fight with other members of the PerSources team and we will continue to follow “The Paperboy” throughout his career , which is sure to be filled with fireworks. I advise all MMA fans to support local MMA fighters, and for those in the Boston area, take notice of Matt Tullos, because he is on his way to making sure you will whether you like it or not.