A mixed-martial arts fighter from Jackson County native landed some big punches Tuesday night while landing the biggest break of his budding career in the sport.
Trevor Peek of Pisgah defeated Peak Fighting lightweight champion Malik Lewis by a second-round TKO during their match for a UFC contract in the Dana White Contender Series at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“Dream come true,” Peek said in an interview on the UFC broadcast that was streamed live on ESPN+.
Lewis had the upper hand on Peek in the match’s opening round. But Peek began to take control in the second round, eventually getting the previously undefeated Lewis to the ground and landing a number of strikes that led to the referee calling the match in Peek’s favor.
“There was moments in there that I was like ‘he’s wearing (down), just outlast him, just be tougher than him,’” Peek said. “A lot of times throughout my whole life, being tougher, it’s made me come out on top. I knew that if I could just keep being tougher, I could outlast him.”
Peek, who improved to 7-0, reached the Dana White Contender Series after multiple fights under the Aries Fight Series and Alabama Fighting Championship banners. Peek’s first six wins were all by knockout, including a first-round KO of UFC Alum Khama Worthy.
Peek, 27, has drawn quite a following locally on social media. Social media sites were littered with congratulatory messages for Peek as well as photos and videos from watch parties.
“I know every single one of them was with me in heart and spirit,” Peek said.
Peek’s rise in the sport is an inspirational one, overcoming drug addiction to put his life back together and launch his professional MMA career.
“I’m a blessed more than I could ever deserve,” he said. “A little over five years ago, I was strung out on meth or anything I could get my hands on. (But) I got God in my life. If you get involved with God, He’ll get involved with you. He saved me and delivered me from the hell I put myself through. I couldn’t ever thank Him enough.”