ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Last month I brought you the story of Auburn High School teacher and assistant wrestling coach Lawrence Phillips winning an amateur MMA World Championship. It was the GAMMA, Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts, championship.

Now Phillips is going pro. Over the weekend he signed a pro contract with One Championship at Fozzy’s Bar & Grill in Loves Park. One Championship is the Asian version of UFC and Bellator, only in additon to MMA action it also offers Muay Thai, kickboxing and submission grappling.

One Championship just signed a deal with Amazon Prime Video to have its main eents shown on that platform over the next five years which will give it more exposure in North America.

“It seemed like a good company,” said Phillips. “They’ve been communicating with me a lot. I’ve got some good friends that’s in One Championship told me some good things about it. I feel like it would be worth a try. They gave me a shot. They believed in me, so I’m going to believe in the company.”

Phillips’ coach Jeremy Cuttill is high on One Championship. “One Championship, they’re at least one of the top five MMA organizations. What’s kind of unheard of is that he’s going directly from amateur to pro, and they’ve signed him for a six-fight contract, so they see the potential that he has.”

How badly did One Championship want Phillips to be involved with them?

“I feel like as soon as he won that world championship that contract pretty much came immediately,” said Demarkus Griffin Phillips’ friend and team captain at DeLaRosa Submission Academy in Roscoe where Phillips trains. “Lawrence has grit. I know Lawrence doesn’t have quit in him.”