Former WEC champion "Razor" Rob McCullough went 10-1 with nine stoppage victories and a lone split-decision defeat from 2003 to 2007.
An exciting style, which saw opponents quit from everything ranging from leg kicks to broken ribs to facial swelling, was his hallmark during the streak.
So as the 33-year-old McCullough (19-6 MMA, 0-0 BFC) enters Bellator Fighting Championships' lightweight tournament and an opening-round matchup with Patricky Freire (7-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) at Saturday's Bellator 36 event, he again has destruction on his mind.
"To be honest with you, I like putting a stamp on my fights and finishing them, and people going, 'There's no doubt in my mind that's a new guy; he came to do business,'" McCullough recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio
). "When I start going to decisions and stuff, that's when I start feeling like I should have finished a guy ... and something is missing from my game. But I feel like a complete fighter again."
McCullough enters the eight-man field, who all are in action at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium in Louisiana on Saturday's MTV2 broadcast, with three wins in his past four fights, including a pair of recent Tachi Palace Fights victories over Isaac DeJesus and UFC veteran Corey Hill.
Aside from Toby Imada, McCullough is the tournament's most experienced competitor. He's undoubtedly the biggest and most established name among the group, which includes former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler Mike Chandler, top Polish prospect Marcin Held and European judo champion Ferrid Kheder.
McCullough said the fighters' abilities to control their own destiny, compete multiple times in a short timeframe, and potentially earn some solid paychecks all made the move to Bellator a logical one.
"I'm a happy guy," said McCullough, a married father of one. "When you spend most your life pursuing a sport, you want to make sure you can still get paid for it, especially when you have a family. I'm a happy guy."
McCullough said he's essentially put together a nine-month fight camp for the bout. As an instructor at HB Ultimate Training Center in Huntington Beach, Calif., he's visited other camps while bringing in fresh faces to his. As part of his teaching duties, he's also been working with local police, sheriff deputies and SWAT members on hand-to-hand combat.
He's been "adding some new things" to his game and "sharpening my edge, they may say."
Against Freire, the brother of Bellator fighter Patricio "Pitbull" Freire and a veteran of the Brazilian fight circuit, he meets a fellow well-rounded competitor known for his toughness and sometimes-violent fighting style.
McCullough, though, likes it that way.
"He's an aggressive guy," he said. "He likes to bang. It's going to make for a great fight."