Ivan Menjivar Hopes To “Have Fun One Day And Fight” Dominick Cruz
Veteran Ready for February 15th Bout with John Albert
By Kelsey Mowatt
Since returning to active competition in 2010, after going more than three years without fighting, it hasn’t taken Ivan Menjivar long to reassert his presence in the world of MMA. After dropping a memorable, unanimous decision to Brad Pickett at WEC 53, Menjivar has now scored back-to-back wins over Charlie Valencia and Nick Pace in the Octagon. If the 29 year-old fighter earns a third straight victory by defeating John Albert on February 15th, discussions regarding Menjivar and his prospects in the UFC bantamweight division will likely only increase.
“I’m taking one fight at a time,” said the veteran Menjivar (23-8), who after losing by split decision to Bart Palaszewski in November, 2006, took an extended break from fighting to help raise his young family. “I said to myself, when I came back, that if this is my last fight I’m going to give 100%. I said that I’m going to enjoy it; go in and have fun. Win or lose, I don’t care, just go in and give the best I can give.”
Standing in the way of Menjivar’s 24th victory will of course be Albert (7-1), who is coming off a quick stoppage win over Dustin Pague at “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 Finale.
“I didn’t watch the whole show so I don’t know his personality,” Menjivar said about the TUF 14 competitor. “I’ve seen him fight, I’ve seem fight a few times, and he looks good. He moves well, he’s a young guy and talented. You never know, so I’m going to put my chin down and my hands up, and get ready for the fight. He’s a good opponent.”
Of course, if Menjivar is able to defeat Albert, the dynamic striker will join several others on their march towards the highly regarded, bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz.
“I like him,” Menjivar noted, when asked to evaluate Cruz. “He moves left, right, left, right, he moves all the time. I like the way he fights. One day if I fight him, I just want to enjoy it. Punch from every side…He’s very talented and has good wrestling. He’s good, but anyone can be beat. I want to have fun one day and fight him.”
To prepare for the upcoming bout, which will be part of the UFC on Fuel TV card in Omaha, Nebraska, Menjivar has once again enlisted the help of Montreal’s extensive MMA resources.
“I’ve been training with Tristar; I’ve been training with Jonathan Chaimberg, and I’ve been training with Montreal’s wrestling club. Of course I have a boxing and Muay Thai coach and I’ve been running in a special centre for running inside. There are real runners and sprinters there, super athletes over there.”
Due to the fact Menjivar will be getting his first bout of the 2012 campaign over with by February 15th, one would think that barring any injuries or unforeseen circumstances, the bantamweight may be able to compete three times this year. The last time “The Pride of El Salvador” fought more than twice in one year was 2006.
“Yes and no,” Menjivar told FCF, when asked if he’s hoping to fight three or four times this year. “It’s not just about the money, it’s also about the head because right now, since December I’ve been training. It takes a lot of time away from your family. My kids know what jiu-jitsu is and what the UFC is, but when they say ‘Papa, no, don’t go to jiu-jitsu today, stay with us’, you want to spend time with your family. That’s also important. I want to fight, but you also have to spend time with your family, because life is not just about fighting.”
Photo via fighthousemanagement.com