Since his abrupt exit from the UFC, former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Efrain Escudero has been a busy man.
Fighting three times in the last six months, Escudero isn’t slowing down at all as he gets back in the cage tonight against fellow former UFC lightweight Fabricio Camoes at Tachi Palace Fights.
The Arizona fighter said when he left the UFC that he wanted to stay busy so he could earn his way back to the Octagon, and he’s held up to his word thus far. Three fights in with three wins, Escudero will look for No. 4 this weekend.
No time off has become a motto for Escudero lately because outside of his own training, he’s also been busy helping teammate Ben Henderson get ready for his UFC debut against Mark Bocek. Henderson was successful in his endeavor, now it’s Escudero’s turn.
“The last fight was on a Friday as well, I took the weekend off and I was back in the gym on Monday,” Escudero said about his training for this fight.
“I’ve got to think about it as a normal fight. I can’t make any excuses. I have to think Fabricio’s training hard, so I’ve got to do my sparring rounds, I have to do my strength and conditioning, I have to do everything. I can’t, just because I just fought, I can’t take it easy. I wanted to test myself. I tell my body what to do, my body doesn’t tell me what to do.”
Following his release from the UFC, Escudero had a very specific plan to build himself back up and hopefully earn a return to the Octagon. He first wanted to get his confidence back, and then build on each fight with a tougher and tougher opponent.
Facing Fabricio Camoes at Tachi Palace Fights has fallen directly in line with his plans.
“My first fight right out of the UFC I fought this guy that I disliked, I also donated my funds to a charity then afterwards I fought this guy which was on his way to go to the ‘Ultimate Fighter’, so I went to get back on a winning streak and then I fought Ashe (Bowman), and now I think I’m ready for the tough opponents again,” Escudero stated.
Fabricio Camoes is of course a fellow veteran of the UFC, going 0-1-1 during his time there. Despite the brief stint, Escudero still knows what Camoes is capable of against top talent, but he also knows what could break the Brazilian come Friday night.
“I know he has great jiu-jitsu. I know his pros and cons. I know he’s mentally weak sometimes, he can be broken,” said Escudero. “But I also know he has knockout power.”
Mental toughness is a big part of what makes any MMA fighter great or sometimes feeble. Escudero has seen the best fighters crumble under mental strain, and he’s happy to try and push Camoes to and then beyond the breaking point when they fight.
“It’s a very big matter. I kind of saw it in Bocek’s eyes when he was fighting against Ben, you saw that he broke mentally a little bit. It’s a strategy game, once somebody’s in your head it can change a lot,” Escudero explained.
“I’m ready to go 15 minutes non-stop and I know he’s not going to get in my head for the sole reason, I’m going to leave it all out there, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Escudero will look to prove that when he faces Camoes at Tachi Palace Fights tonight in California.
Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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