Khaos Williams wants to be an example to his community of how far hard work and dedication can get you.

Williams (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who exploded into the UFC with back-to-back first-round knockouts of Alex Morono and Abdul Razak Alhassan, is already one of the most promising prospects on the roster.

But, while Williams’ arrival in the UFC has looked fast, his road to the octagon was far from easy. In 2013, Williams earned a high school diploma through an online program while incarcerated in Jackson County Jail after being convicted of selling cocaine.

And as soon as he walked out, he knew he wanted to turn his life around.

“I always say I don’t just want to make an income, I want to make an impact,” Williams told MMA Junkie. “Because people see the finishing product, they see the glitz and glamour, they see you win, they see me on ESPN and stuff like that, but they don’t see the hard work and dedication. They don’t see when I was at the bottom. I had to get out of the mud and there were a lot of people that didn’t believe in me. I had to believe in myself.

“I didn’t have a lot of money to start off, I didn’t have a lot of resources. I didn’t have a lot. I didn’t come from a rich family or nothing like that, I had to make it. I just had to believe in myself and I made it happen so for the youth and stuff like that, if you got a dream, you just gotta believe in yourself. You just gotta put the work in. That’s it.”

Williams is already booked for his next bout, where he’ll face fellow knockout artist Michel Pereira at UFC Fight Night 184 on Dec. 19. His phone blew up after he scored his second straight finish in less than a minute, but it wasn’t always an outpour of support for Williams.

“Everybody loves you when you’re winning,” Williams said. “It’s crazy, like you said, because a lot of people, they did doubt me. They didn’t expect me to be here. When I was telling people I was gonna get to the UFC or that was my goal, a lot of people were hating. They didn’t think I was gonna be here, especially doing what I’m doing now, and the way I’m doing it in the top-level competition. I definitely had haters.”