CFFC winner Tycen Lynn: From underdog to a possible big show opportunity?

Tycen Lynn has his hand raised in victory. Credit: Coga Combat Games.

Just last week, Tycen Lynn (8-4) stepped foot in the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to headline CFFC 88, a show with a lot of eyes glued to the – exclusively UFC Fight Pass aired – screen.

Those many eyes ere not initially focused on the 33-year-old Tycen Lynn, as his opponent, Phil Caracappa (9-2), was considered to be the odds-on favorite.

Caracappa, a former Ring of Combat champion and a veteran of Dana White’s Contender Series, still had a lot of hype leading into this fight. In fact, according to fight database Tapology, only 3% of the site’s fanbase predicted Lynn would win.

The fight played out with Caracappa coming out aggressive and looking for an early finish. Everything Caracappa was throwing was with everything he had, never really landing anything significant.

As the fight went on, it was the longer Lynn who was finding his rhythm.

Caracappa did get a nice body lock takedown, but not even thirty seconds later Lynn was back to his feet. Lynn, not long after separating, landed a beautiful head kick that cracked the top of Caracappa’s head. That shot put Caracappa on an island, and Lynn capitalized, taking the back and putting him to sleep. Just like that, the “Hitman” was assassinated.

“My game plan was to try to keep the fight standing because I felt like I was better on the feet,” Lynn told MMA-Prospects. “From watching his last fight, it seemed like he is more of a brawler, and I felt like I could exploit that with my technical abilities. I envisioned a finish, I just wasn’t quite sure how it would happen. I try to envision a finish going into all of my fights.”

Lynn just turned 33 a few months ago and has been fighting in MMA since 2012. Like many mixed martial artists’, Lynn’s fighting journey started at a young age.

“I started Taekwondo when I was four years old. By the time I reached my twenties, I felt burnt out, and like I couldn’t learn anything further in that sport. I started helping a friend train for an MMA fight and it sparked my interest. I love competing and learning new things; MMA brought back my passion for martial arts,” said Lynn.

“I took my first amateur fight out of a Taekwondo gym and won. My second fight didn’t go so well – I got taken down every round and punched for three rounds straight by a good wrestler. That was when I became obsessed with becoming a well-rounded fighter and knew that this is what I want to do,” Lynn continued.

It’s easy to write “Shin to the Chin” Lynn off as a prospect; at 33, his 8-4 record may result in him getting overlooked. But if one looks deeper on his record, one notices that three of his four losses are to eventual UFC fighters in Sean O’Malley, Louis Smolka, and Journey Newson.

His combined level of competition has been very good, which just proves Lynn doesn’t shy away from a tough fight. A lot of fighters will go through their early career padding their record with poor or inexperienced competition, but not Lynn.

“I’ve had a lot of people turn down fights with me, which can be frustrating, but I realize that everyone has their own motivation for fighting. I personally fight to test myself, but not everybody is in it for the same reason. People also have varying skill levels. If I’m talking to a young fighter that I recognize has the skills to be a high-level competitor, I would tell them to focus on their weaknesses and be comfortable where ever a fight might go, just so that they feel confident enough to take on the best fights.”

When considering what’s next for him, Lynn doesn’t have a particular name in mind; he just wants a good fight and a challenge for himself.

“The great thing about MMA is that it has really exploded in the last ten years, which has brought a lot of interest and talent into the sport. I don’t have anyone specific in mind but would like to fight anyone that thinks they can put my skills to the test and wants to put on a good show!” Lynn concluded.

Even when Lynn isn’t in fight camp, he’s always in shape, ready to jump on an opportunity if a shot at the big show arises.

If something like that is in the future, Lynn will take it in stride. But if not, he’ll continue to grind on the regional scene, testing himself. Though his plan is to fight for five more years, he always plans to be involved in martial arts in some capacity.