Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010
Ian Loveland Targeting Top Bantamweights in 2011
By Kelsey Mowatt, photo courtesy Team Quest
Despite dominating featherweight Tyler Toner for the unanimous decision win on December 4th, winning his UFC debut in the process and extending his winning streak to seven, Ian “The Barn Owl” Loveland believes his days competing at 145lbs. are numbered. With a successful 2010 campaign now coming to a close, the Team Quest fighter is hoping to make the UFC bantamweight division his home in 2011, and Loveland plans on making some noise.
“The last fight I had before this last one was at bantamweight and I felt really good,” Loveland told Full Contact Fighter. “I feel really good at the weight so that’s where I plan on making my mark.”
“I want to start getting up there with the top guys,” Loveland added while discussing his aspirations for next year. “I don’t know every single guy in the bantamweight division, or where everyone is at in the rankings, but I want to get right in there and start climbing up. I want to start knocking off dudes right and left.”
Loveland demonstrated he has a well rounded arsenal to draw from in his decision win over Toner, relying on a punishing ground-and-pound game and powerful strikes from his feet, to outscore the resilient WEC vet.
“I think I can strike with anybody in the world, especially if I’m in top condition, I can strike with anyone out there,” said Loveland when asked about the striking element to his game. “My background is in Tae Kwon Do as well as wrestling. I started Tae Kwon Do when I was like five years old and did it when I started wrestling in high school. So, it’s not the same, but there are things you can pick up from it, like how to use your body and use new techniques.”
Another of the story lines that was tied to Loveland’s fourteenth professional victory was that the Oregon fighter stepped in on short notice, to take the fight with Toner. Despite having not fought since April, when Loveland scored a TKO win over Xavier Desrochers at a Wreck MMA event, fatigue did not end up playing a deciding factor.
“Well I was really happy with getting a win in the UFC but don’t feel like that’s the best I can do,” Loveland said. “I took the fight on like nine, ten days notice; I was training, but it’s different when you’ve been training for a fight. You get that extra fire to push that much harder, so I definitely feel like I’m going to be in a lot better shape for my next fight in the UFC and perform that much better.”
With the top of the bantamweight division as his target for the coming year, Loveland understands that more work will have to be put in to improve his game in all areas.
“I don’t think there’s one area specifically,” said the Sport Fight veteran while discussing what he needs to do to achieve his goals over the coming months. “I’ve worked a lot on my submission defense and I think it’s gotten a lot better. Four, five years ago, even up to three years ago, that was my weakness, but I think I’ve sealed up that whole pretty good. I just need to get better all around from here on out.”
(Loveland wanted to thank his sponsor Lamiglas Fishing Rods for their support)
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 2:53 pm