BAMMA USA's reinvented Steve Magdaleno gunning for big-show spot


steven-magdaleno-1.jpgAfter three-straight losses and a failed bid to make it in into the house on “The Ultimate Fighter 12,” Steve Magdaleno (9-3) admits things weren’t looking so good.

“Three in a row, like even if they were close fights, I think anybody would start to question themselves,” Magdaleno told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I started off really hot at 6-0, and all of a sudden I couldn’t get the job done. I started to question what was wrong with me.”

But rather than pack it up and admit defeat, Magdaleno decided to take a stand and battle back. A move to Los Angeles’ PKG Training Center brought it with a new crop of training partners, and the reinvention process began.

“Luckily I had good people around me, and I was able to make that switch and really change my style a lot,” Magdaleno said. “I used to be more like a kickboxer with my striking. Now I’ve focused a lot more on my boxing, and my boxing has really improved a lot. Everything has improved, and I’m just working with a lot of great people like Mac Danzig and Chad George.

“I just think that the company I’m with has really helped me improve. I think I was always at that level. I just think recently the company has pushed me over the edge.”

The results have been evident, as Magdaleno is now in the midst of a three-fight win streak – a run that includes three knockout wins.

“It’s always nice to be on the better side of the spectrum, that’s for sure,” Magdaleno said.

Magdaleno returns to action on Friday night, competing in the co-main event of BAMMA USA’s “Badbeat 8? event, which takes place at Commerce Casino in Commerce, Calif. Magdaleno meets fellow featherweight Chris Culley (14-10), who owns a pair of wins under the BAMMA USA banner.

“He’s a southpaw kickboxer, kind of a technical striker,” Magdaleno said. “He comes out of a`good camp. He fights out of Millennia here in California, which has a good reputation. There’s a lot of good fighters from that camp.

“He’s kind of long and rangy. I know he’s going to try and keep it on his feet. Again, his repertoire is striking, so I assume that’s what he’s going to do.”

But the name of the opponent hardly matters. Magdaleno is more focused on his performance and scoring another stoppage win. A shot with a major promotion is the ultimate goal, and Magdaleno knows exactly what it’s going to take to get there.

“My focus is definitely the big show,” Magdaleno said. “That’s why my focus has been on finishing guys. I want to make a statement with each and every fight. I think recently I’ve been making a big statement. This next fight, I want to finish it with either another great knockout or a slick submission. I think you have to, especially in my division.

“Both 145 and 155 are stacked divisions. If you want to make it into the big show, I think you really have to make a statement. I think they want exciting fighters and exciting finishes, and I want to show that I’m finishing my guys. I’m not fighting nobodies. I’m fighting guys with pretty decent records, and I’m beating them in exciting fashion.”

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