Edson Berto Ready for Luis Palomino: “I’m going to win; I need that win”
By Kelsey Mowatt
It’s been a long 18 months in the career of the James Edson Berto, as since he tapped out Greg Loughran with a first round heel hook in April, 2010, the Florida veteran has yet to compete again. For a fighter that is well accustomed to competing three times a year or more and is intent on reaching the highest levels of the sport, the extended time off hasn’t been welcome.
“I’ve been training the whole time, but every time I was supposed to fight, something happened,” the 28 year-old Berto told FCF. “I was supposed to fight the kid…Rob Emerson, from “The Ultimate Fighter”, something happened and we didn’t fight. I was supposed to fight another guy and we didn’t fight. I’m always training but something has kept happening before fight time.”
While it seems as though Berto has been cursed in terms of returning to the cage, one of the bouts that was previously cancelled has now been rescheduled for the October 15th, W-1 card in Miami. Berto was originally set to face fellow vet Luis Palomino at Bellator 50 in September, but in keeping with Berto’s recent run of bad luck, an injury to Palomino forced the fight’s cancellation. Now, with just four days to go until fight time, it appears as though Berto and Palomino will finally meet.
“We we’re supposed to fight, he hurt his hand, so we get to do it again,” said Berto. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not like I’ve been really wanting to fight him or anything, but since we’ve been rescheduled, I finally have an opponent. You have to be ready. I think it’s going to be a fun fight. He’s a good striker; he comes hard, so I think that’s a fight that I really need. I said that’s fine. Let’s do it.”
Since exiting from Elite XC in 2008, Berto has gone 2-2 to extend his overall record to 16-8-1. Miami’s Palomino (16-7) has been the much busier fighter over the last couple of years, and since the beginning of 2010 the Bellator vet has gone 5-2.
“I think I have the advantage on the ground,” Berto said when asked to evaluate Palomino, whose only losses in his last seven bouts came against Yves Edwards and Pat Curran. “I think in the stand-up we’ll be pretty much the same. I think he swings wild; I think I’m more technical, he’s just a wild fighter. Stand-up is like 50,50 but I think I’m the better fighter on the ground.”
“I really need this win,” Berto added while discussing the importance of the upcoming fight. “I haven’t fought in like a year-and-a-half so I really need this win. I really need to get back in the fighting game and a win over Palomino will put me right up there. I really wanted to comeback against somebody that people know…especially in Miami, a lot of people know who he is.”
Berto will make his return while competing under the aforementioned W-1 banner. The promotion hosted several events in Eastern Canada from 2009 through 2010, until it resurfaced recently and announced plans for an October 15th card in Miami.
“W-1 so far has been doing really good. I’ve been wanting to fight for W-1, even before they got a hold of me,” said Berto. “I think I’m going to continue fighting for them because so far everything is good. Guess we’ll see after Saturday what’s going to happen.”
“I’m going to win; I need that win,” Berto noted when asked for a prediction. “I need to beat him; I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I’m going to win.”
The October 15th W-1 card will be hosted by Miami’s Bank United Center and will also feature UFC vet Marcus Davis taking on former TUF competitor Chuck O’Neil.