Despite Resurgence, Ivan Menjivar Has No Plans to Quit ‘Day Job’
By Kelsey Mowatt
After incurring back-to-back losses to Caol Uno and Bart Palaszewksi in 2006, Ivan Menjivar walked away from professional fighting to better manage his responsibilities as a new father. Despite being one of Canada’s more highly regarded and experience competitors, the opportunities for smaller fighters at that juncture weren’t what they are today.
Last year, however, with the sport of MMA continuing to grow and more high profile bouts opening up in the featherweight and bantamweight divisions, Menjivar returned to competition for the first time in well over three years. The decision paid off, as after making his way back to the Octagon in April, Menjivar stopped Charlie Valencia in short order at UFC 129.
But despite his career’s revival Menjivar continues to work as a security guard at Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, and according to the Tristar fighter, he has no plans to quit his ‘day job’ anytime soon.
“I don’t know,” Menjivar told FCF, when asked if he hopes to become a full time fighter. “I tried that before, and it was okay, but at the same time it was a little bit boring. Just fighting, fighting, fighting. I would like to work a little bit less, but it’s still good to change ideas and don’t just think about the MMA world. It’s healthy to do something else and it’s good pay.”
Of course, Menjivar (22-8) is still a few wins away from entrenching a position at the top of the UFC’s bantamweight division, and up next the El Salvador native will face Nick Pace on August 6th.
“Not really,” said Menjivar when he was asked if he knew much about Pace, who is coming off a third round, submission win over Will Campuzano in December. “For the moment I just focus on my training and that’s it. I’m just trying to have fun training and fighting as always.”
For years, Menjivar was forced to compete at a weight much higher than what his 5’6 tall frame is naturally suited for. Of his eight pro defeats, many came against fighters who compete at lightweight or even welterweight, like Octagon vet Matt Serra or current training partner Georges St. Pierre. Now that Menjivar has found a home in the UFC bantamweight division, the 29 year-old-fighter is feeling more confident than ever.
“Right now I’m in good shape and I know when I go to fight I can put on a good show,” said Menjivar while discussing life as a bantamweight and his prospects in his division. “I have a good chance to win. I take one fight at a time and if one day I have a chance to fight for the belt I want to be fully prepared.”
“I do wrestling, I do boxing, Muay Thai, I try to mix everything,” Menjivar added. “I may not be the best but I’m good in everything.”
After returning to action last June and scoring a submission win while competing for W-1, Menjivar lost by unanimous decision to fellow vet Brad Pickett at WEC last December. Although the bout was competitive and extremely entertaining, the defeat made Menjivar’s victory at UFC 129 that much more important.
“I was really happy to get a win in the UFC,” said Menjivar, who has competed for various organizations during his career including King of the Cage, Pancrase, K-1 Hero’s and the IFL. “I was just happy to have a good fight after all the time preparing for a hard fight, a long fight. It was a good event.”