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Wednesday, Apr 06, 2011

Edwin Figueroa Hoping for Full Camp, No Injuries in Next UFC Bout

By Kelsey Mowatt; photo courtesy Team Janjira
Fans that tuned into Facebook on March 26th to catch the preliminary bouts for UFC Fight Night 24, were treated to one of the year’s more memorable bouts, as Michael McDonald and Edwin Figueroa battled it out on their feet and on the ground for fifteen, wildly entertaining minutes. In the end, McDonald outscored Figueroa to be handed the unanimous decision win, in a bout that was fittingly awarded Fight of the Night honors. Despite the $55,000 bonus and his awe inspiring performance, however, Figueroa can’t get over the fact that he failed to deliver a victory in his first UFC fight.
“It was pretty nice but I would give it back in a heartbeat just to get that win you know?” Figueroa told FCF. “I haven’t lost a fight in nine or ten years, so, it kind of eases the pain a little bit but still, I would easily give it back and more just to get the win. I felt like I was a kid in high school that just got dumped or is getting over a hard break-up; it could have been a lot better.”
While Figueroa (7-1) is understandably disappointed that he no longer is an undefeated MMA fighter, what made his gritty performance against the highly touted, 20 year-old McDonald (12-1) even more impressive, is that he took the bout in far from ideal circumstances. Not only did Figueroa step in on short notice for the injured Nick Pace, but the Saekson Sanjira fighter informed FCF that his own injury woes adversely affected his performance.
“It ended up turning into a sloppy fight and I don’t really fight like that,” said Figueroa. “I wished I would have had more confidence in myself. Cutting the weight, I had to lose about 26 pounds in about five or six days…By the time I was doing my warm-up I was just gassed. In the fight I couldn’t really do my set-ups, feints; I couldn’t do my techniques properly like we trained. So I just decided that I had to finish the fight immediately and I started throwing haymakers. Looking back I really regret doing that because that really took it out of me.”
In addition, part of the reason Figueroa was forced to cut so much weight, was because the bantamweight had been relatively inactive due a nagging groin injury. Prior to his bout with McDonald, Figueroa hadn’t fought since August, 2010, when he stopped Johnny Bedford while competing under the King of Kombat banner.
“I haven’t fought in so long because I’ve had a couple of injuries,” the 26 year-old-fighter and experienced striker noted. “I pulled my groin which is why I was so overweight. I was walking around at 160, 165 because I couldn’t really jog or run. I had a pulled groin but when I got that call with six days notice, I was like I can’t say no to that. That’s what I’ve been waiting to do all my life. I knew I could make my dream come true the next week.”
Now Figueroa will take some time out to rest and heal, so that he can fully prepare for his second Octagon appearance when the time comes.
“There’s no one in particular,” said Figueroa, who signed a five fight deal with the UFC prior to his bout with McDonald. “There’s so many great fighters in the bantamweight division; Dominick Cruz, Urjiah Faber, Miguel Torres, if I get to fight any of those guys it will be such an honor…I just can’t wait to be healthy, train for a full six weeks and show everyone how I can fight.”
“This may sound funny, but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Michael McDonald,” Figueroa added. “He gave me my first loss so I would love to fight him again. It’s nothing personal, he’s a super nice guy and a great fighter, but business before pleasure.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 2:36 pm
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