The greatest fear in mixed martial arts is awaiting the judges' scorecards.
The only thing worse is actually hearing the decision announced.
And if you're on the receiving end of that bad news, it could stick with you for a long, long time.
Enter Paul Bradley (18-4).
"I'd be lying if I said losing that split decision to Mike Pierce doesn't still bother me right now," Bradley told Bleacher Report.
"It sucks. The fight was so close that it could have gone either way. But at the same time his next fight was against Koscheck," said Bradley. "That gives me confidence knowing that I'm where I need to be."
But Bradley wasn't where he needed to be at all as he was surprisingly released from the UFC just days later.
Instead of contemplating where to turn next, Bradley left his homestead in Minnesota and hit the road.
"After the fight I spent 55 days training in San Diego and after the new year I spent 30 more days at Team Takedown. I'm putting everything I have into this. If I go broke then I go broke," said Bradley. "It's a sacrifice I need to make."
Bradley's goal is as simple as can be.
Get back to the UFC.
Before Bradley can return to the big stage, he'll need to prove he's worthy of another chance beginning Saturday, April 7.
And according to Bradley, the games are over.
"I'm not messing around anymore," said Bradley. "From now on I'm getting in there looking for a quick finish and then move on to my next opponent."
"I'm going to be looking for the finish right away. I'm not trying to play around in these small shows and get caught. The goal is to go in and dominate by submission or knockout from here on out," said Bradley."
There's no timetable for when fans can expect to see Bradley back in the UFC, but when he does return—watch out.
"If all goes well, I would say at the very least two fights, but it's hard to say. Realistically I would like to think between two and five fights. Saying that, there also aren't any guarantees," said Bradley. "I'm thankful for all my sponsors that have stuck by me."
"Once I get back in the UFC I'm going to stay there."
To learn more about Paul Bradley or possible sponsorships opportunities, follow him on Twitter.
For additional information, follow Garrett Derr on Twitter.