It’s been nearly seven months since Floridian Eric “It’s A Wrap” Reynolds lost to Nick Newell for the XFC lightweight championship. And even though he’s had opportunities to return from that loss before now, Reynolds has purposefully taken time off to work on the mistakes he made in his fight to Newell, so that it doesn’t ever happen again.
“I’ve been working on my ground a lot because that was my third rear naked choke loss, and I don’t want there to be a fourth,” said Reynolds. “I’ve been working on moving forward and pushing the action. I feel like I’d been holding back my last couple fights, so I plan on not relying so much on the point system, but more so just looking at finishing (my opponents) and hurting them.
“He was a good opponent and it was a good lesson for me. I learned I had to train harder and work harder on any aspect because anything can happen at any time in there, so I’ve got to prepared.”
Reynolds is due to return to the XFC this Friday night on the same card that the title he lost will be decided, but not with Newell involved.
In the past month, Newell decided he would not face mandatory challenger Scott Holtzman, and thus was stripped of his title and has since signed with the World Series of Fighting.
When asked how he feels that a title he fought so hard to win was simply disregarded by the fighter who beat him for it, Reynolds responded, “It’s pretty disappointing.
“It was kind of like a coward move and I don’t consider him the champion. Yeah, he beat me, but he’s never defended the belt, so he’s no champion.”
Reynolds will be seeking to return to title contention Friday night in Tampa, FL, when he takes on Kevin Forant at XFC 24 live on AXS TV.
“Kevin’s a strong guy who throws straight punches with good control and good cardio, so against a guy like that, you’ve got to hurt him and take his heart from him,” said Reynolds.
“I think it’s going to be a takedown battle. I think he’s going to try to close the distance a lot and go for the takedown, and I’ve got to do what I do best, use angles and fight on the outside.”
Reynolds told MMAWeekly.com that he feels whomever wins between he and Forant should either get a shot at the 155-pound title next or at least be one step closer to fighting for it.
“Without a doubt the winner should deserve to be in contention for the number one spot to fight for the title or fight someone for the right to fight for the title,” he said. “However they want to work that out, I believe without a doubt whoever wins this fight should eventually get a chance at the hardware.
“I feel Nick got lucky in December and I’m intent on going in there and proving to everyone that was a fluke, and no matter who I fight, I’ll be ready.”