While he may have seemed calm and collected entering his Legacy FC debut earlier this month, underneath it all, bantamweight prospect Patrick “Juggernaut” Ybarra was anything but.
“I don’t know if you saw it, but before the fight I was just walking and pacing and just scared about everything,” said Ybarra. “I was really nervous about TV, commentating by Pat Miletich and Michael Schiavello, and all that.”
Once the cage door closed and the bell rang, however, Ybarra’s nervousness went away.
“Once the bell rang and I felt I could strike with him everything was okay,” he said. “Once I settled down I was able to be relaxed and really enjoyed it.”
What resulted was the evening’s highlight moment as Ybarra submitted Billy Buch with a flying arm bar just under 90 seconds into the first round.
“The only reason why I really hit it was because I was thinking about it the night before,” said Ybarra. “I was thinking about doing it because I wanted to make an impression on TV and (Legacy) being my first big promotion.
“I set it up a basic way: I didn’t just swing right into it, I had his arm and his head and just hit it. I’m glad it went my way because if it didn’t, I would have been in a bad position.”
The win raised Ybarra’s record to 4-0 with all his victories being first-round armbar submissions, which in itself is interesting considering he comes from a system predominantly fostered by former UFC heavyweight champion and kickboxing legend Maurice Smith’s striking system.
“I really like to strike and I think I’m more of a striker than a grappler, but I’ll take a win however I can get it,” Ybarra told MMAWeekly.com. “My opponents haven’t been that good on the ground, so I’ve just taken it where I can get it.
“The way the fights have ended have just happened. I didn’t force them; the opportunities just opened up and I jumped on them.”
Ybarra’s highlight reel finish caught the attention of AXS TV’s Inside MMA. And since his segment on the show has aired, Ybarra has noticed a big change in his exposure level.
“I’ve heard a lot from the fans: whether it’s on my Facebook, Twitter or wherever I go, I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback,” he said. “People who watched me on Inside MMA come up to me saying ‘You’re that guy, you’re that guy.’ It’s pretty cool.
“I really enjoy talking with them and hearing what they have to say. It’s been a really good experience and hopefully it can continue.”
With fights lined up in March for Xtreme Combat Promotions and his Legacy return in May, Ybarra’s exposure is driving him to want to achieve more as he continues the year.
“It’s definitely a motivator,” he said. “I’m already a pretty self-motivated person, but this just makes me want to do it even more so to keep people talking and keep people wanting to see me.”
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