UFC FN 45: Joe Proctor Looking Forward to a “Little Hometown Advantage for Once”
By Kelsey Mowatt
After heading to Brazil to face that nation’s Cristiano Marcello at UFC Fight Night 36 in February, Joe Proctor is looking forward to a shorter trip, and some local support, for his next fight. On July 16th, the lightweight will square off with Justin Salas at UFC FN 45 in Atlantic City, which is much, much closer to Proctor’s home base in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
“I’m very excited,” Proctor relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “We put in a while ago for a fight at the Jersey card, it’s actually close, so it will be nice to have a little hometown advantage for once. We were just looking for a name, and they gave us Justin Salas, and I talked to my coaches, and we’re all very excited about the fight.”
“I like fighting closer to home,” furthered Proctor, who worked his way to a decision win over his TUF 15 teammate at UFC FN 36. “It’s easier for my family and friends to get there, and it’s better with having my diet food and stuff. When I was in Brazil that was great. My weight going out there was super low; I was really hesitant on eating a lot of the food out there, but for the most part my weight was right on. I felt great.”
In addition to the location, Proctor is happy about the timing of his next fight, as the Team Aggression member is looking to have an active 2014 campaign. Proctor missed all of 2013 due to a series of injuries, and if all goes well, he should be able to book at least three fights this year.
“Ya, ya, it’s been going good,” said Proctor. “I’ve been training hard and I’m right on schedule.”
The upcoming, July 16th fight is a pivotal one for both men, as each fighter is looking to build on a recent victory. Salas is coming off a highlight reel, first round KO win over Ben Wall in May, after being submitted by Thiago Tavares last November. The accomplished wrestler has gone 3-2 in the UFC to date.
Proctor, meanwhile, was decisioned by Ramsey Nijem prior to facing Marcello, and is 2-1 in official UFC action.
“Justin is a well rounded fighter,” Proctor noted about his 32 year-old opponent. “I see a lot in him that’s like me. He’s a southpaw, which is a little bit different; I’ve never fought a southpaw before, but we’re always sparring with southpaws in the gym. So, I definitely think I’m ready for that.”
“He’s heavy handed, good wrestling, just like every UFC fighter should be, very well rounded,” Proctor furthered. “I’ve got great coaches. I’ve been working with Joe Lauzon, Steve Maze, and I started with Jimmy Quinlan on my wrestling. So it’s been great so far.”
And what kind of approach does Proctor believe the former NCAA Division 1 wrestler will take on July 16th?
“In my opinion, I think he’s going to stand up and test the waters standing up, which is fine with me,” the 28 year-old predicted. “Every fight starts on the feet so if it goes the whole round standing up I’m very comfortable with that.”
UFC FN 46 will be hosted by the Revel in Atlantic City, and will feature a lightweight bout between contenders Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone in the main event.