A 10-fight winning streak helped Lyman Good raise his profile in mixed martial arts.
His first loss, however, allowed him to make valuable changes to his outlook on the sport.
Good, who won Bellator Fighting Championships' inaugural welterweight championship, suffered the first loss of his career in October 2010 when Ben Askren defeated him to claim the title.
After a long road back, Good is on the verge of claiming a title shot when he faces Andrey Koreshkov in the Season Seven welterweight tournament finale in the main event of Bellator 82 on Friday.
"I think a lot of it is just encapsulating again that hunger that I had the first time I went into the tournament, but with a whole different level of experience," Good said of his approach. "If it's one thing that I learned is that in all my 10 wins I had consecutively, the one time that I learned the most is when I lost the belt, had that first loss."
Good, from Harlemn, returned to the Bellator cage five months after the loss to Askren and won a quarterfinal bout in Bellator's Season Four welterweight tournament. But he suffered his second loss in less than a year when he lost in the semifinals to Rick Hawn in April 2011.
Good sat out a full year after the loss and returned earlier this year.
"I took a little time to find myself again," Good said. "I used that time wisely just to kind of assimilate all of that and just piece myself back together, stronger this time. Now I'm ready. I have that hunger and that fuel and that rage to have that that once was mine again.
"... I had to remember where I came from. I had to remember what brought me into this tournament in the first place, that opportunity to have that pride and that strength and that honor of winning all over again."
The new approach helped Good begin a new winning streak. He defeated LeVon Maynard in April to qualify for the Season Seven tournament, where he defeated Jim Wallhead and Mikhail Tsarev. Good will now face Koreshkov, who improved to 12-0 with tournament victories over Jordan Smith and Marius Zaromskis, in the main event of Bellator 82. The winner will receive a check for $100,000 and a title shot in 2013.
"I'm on a mission," said Good, a 27-year-old New Yorker from Harlem. "I have pretty much one thing set in mind, and that's to regain something that once belonged to me."
The remainder of the televised card, which can be seen live on MTV 2 at 8 p.m. EST and tape delay at 8 p.m. PST from the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Mich.,, includes lightweights Alexander Sarnavskiy vs. Tony Hervey, middleweights Kala Hose vs. Doug Marshall and 160-pound catchweights David Rickels vs. Jason Fischer.
The preliminaries, which can be viewed live on spike.com at 6 p.m. EST/3 p.m. PST, include: featherweights Mario Navarro vs. Anthony Bain; bantamweights Chad Coon vs. Shawn Bunch; middleweights Giva Santana vs. Brendan Seguin; light heavyweights
Terry Davinney vs. Matt Van Buren; and featherweights Jeremy Czarnecki vs. Justin Houghton.
Bellator will feature the featherweight tournament final next week and wrap up its seventh season with two tournament finales -- lightweight and heavyweight -- and a light heavyweight championship bout between Christian M'Pumbu and Attila Vegh on Dec. 14.