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Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010

Menjivar Taking Training and Career to New Levels in 2011

By Kelsey Mowatt
Fighting for just the second time since 2006, Ivan Menjivar showed little signs of any cage rust during his thrilling WEC 53 bout with Brad Pickett earlier this month, but in the end, the “Pride of El Salvador” fell short, losing by unanimous decision to the highly regarded British vet. It wasn’t exactly the way Menjivar planned on having his WEC debut go down, of course, but the 21-8 fighter is happy that the fight created a serious buzz.
“I’m happy and I think Brad is the same,” Menjivar told FCF. “We were each prepared to have a good fight and we give it. I prepared hard and I was ready for all three rounds. I think I made some good moves in the fight and I tried to win. I wanted to show my techniques, make the fans happy, and I wanted people to remember Menjivar’s fight. That was the first time they might have seen me. So I’m happy people loved my style.”
While Menjivar certainly made an impact in his WEC debut, and likely entrenched his return to the Octagon in 2011, the fight demonstrated to the Montreal fighter that he still has plenty of work to do.
“For the result I’m sad,” said Menjivar. “It was a good fight yes, but I’m unhappy because I made mistakes. I didn’t study my opponent. After my first back fist I realized that ‘oh, he studied my fight.’ I saw that he had studied my style. That was one error for me.”
“I have to work a lot for my family,” Menjivar added, who is also employed as a full time airport security officer. “I didn’t train my wrestling like before; I need to do more wrestling. So I learned I need to spend more time studying my opponent and I need to do more wrestling. I need to be more like Georges (St. Pierre), who prepares for each opponent.”
Veteran observers of Canadian MMA have long been familiar with Ivan Menjivar; after turning pro in 2001, the El Salvador native had soon made a name for himself on the Canadian circuit, before battling his way to international organizations like the UFC and K-1 Hero’s. It was a different era in the sport; however, as often the 5’6 tall fighter was forced to face much bigger competition, with little financial reward. Having a family to support, Menjivar left pro MMA in 2006, after dropping back-to-back decision losses to Caol Uno and Bart Palaszewski.
“It is too hard to say ‘no I can’t fight,” said Menjivar, when asked why he returned to fighting this past summer, when he submitted Aaron Miller at W-1’s fifth card. “I’m only 28 and it’s too fun to prepare for the fight. I’m addicted; it’s so fun. Also, my kids are a bit older now, so my wife said ‘ok, you can go fight.’ The sport has grown up so fast, so I wish I can make money doing this, and I hope I can be a real professional and live off fighting. I think the sport has given me another chance; I think I can go and make a good career.”
Menjivar will now turn his attention to 2011, and after having a successful performance debuting at 135lbs. versus Pickett, the Tri Star fighter hopes to compete next in the UFC bantamweight division.
“Now that the WEC has gone to the UFC, we don’t know when the next fight for me will be,” Menjivar said while discussing his immediate future. “I think I have a good chance to continue fighting for them. I think they might want to introduce me as part of the bantamweight category in Canada. Toronto is going to have a show so I hope they might put me there for a fight.”

With the landscape of MMA having completely changed since Menjivar was facing the likes of Matt Serra and Vitor Ribeiro approximately five years ago, the veteran has a new outlook on the sport he’s dedicated much of his life to.

“I think I can be a good challenger for the UFC now, I can be prepared well,” said Menjivar. “I need more sponsors so I can train like a real professional, but after my first fight after three years, I realized I’m ready to come back to fighting. I realize I need to be more professional; I need more time to train, prepare and rest. I think it’s possible for me to get back to the top ten fighters in the world.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 4:30 pm
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