When he does, it will be a chance to build on the positive momentum he got from his UFC debut win over former TUF winner Brad Katona last September. It was a solid win over a tough foe for the Dana White’s Contender Series graduate, and after fighting and winning four times last year, he earned a little R&R.

“I definitely enjoyed the victory and took a little bit of time off because I had a busy year,” he said. “But the main thing I enjoyed from having the break was that I was finally able to learn and not go into practice with a fight mentality. I was able to go in there and have fun and just learn and try things, be other people’s partner for their fights and I was able to pick up new tools.”

He also enjoyed the holidays, got a new place with Sage and prepared for the arrival of their son. Not a bad year to say the least, especially after putting together a UFC performance that showed no sign of the first time Octagon jitters.  

“I was for sure nervous, but if you don’t have those little nerves before going there, something’s gotta be wrong,” he said. “It’s just how you handle your emotions going out there and what you do with them. Everyone has those feelings; you’ve got to put them to use in the fight. So I definitely had jitters, but after they say ‘Fight,’ it’s just fun after that.”

Azure is still having fun now as he settles into fatherhood, but he’s also ready to get back down to business, something fight fans appreciate about the no nonsense battler.

“The diehard fans and the ones who enjoy fighting, I feel like they respect and like people that are like Khabib (Nurmagomedov) and Matt Hughes, people that are there for what they signed up for, not to run around and do flips and stuff,” he said. “That’s all exciting and entertaining, but we are in the fight game, and I try to use that energy just to focus on my fight and get the job done.”