For Bellator bantamweight Anthony Leone, stepping away from his wrestling base in his last bout against Rafael Silva in October, it ended up costing him the fight.
“In that fight, I didn’t even fight the way I usually do,” Leone told MMAWeekly.com. “I tried boxing, which I normally never just box. (From now on) I’m to do what I do best. That’s what I learned from that fight.”
After the fight with Silva, Leone headed overseas to recover from the loss and has since gotten things back in order during preparations for his return to Bellator this Friday against Eduardo Dantas.
“I’ve worked a ton on jiu-jitsu, wrestling like always and always worked on my striking,” said Leone. “Basically I went right back to work to get better. Four weeks out I came back (from Thailand) and worked with my coaches on a specific game plan for my upcoming fight.
“I feel great. Things went perfect for this camp and I couldn’t have had better training. I feel really ready for this fight.”
When it comes to his bantamweight title fight against Dantas (15-3), Leone (13-6) has a simple game plan, never let his opponent dictate the action from start to finish.
“I have to put the pressure on every second of every round,” said Leone. “Eduardo’s really good if you let him dictate the pace of the fight. I need to put the pressure on him and mix everything up and that will be the key to me winning this fight.”
After almost losing out on a title opportunity with his loss to Silva last year, Friday’s title fight is do or die for Leone.
“All my focus right now is winning the title,” he said. “That’s the only thing I’m thinking about. I haven’t thought about the future. All I know is that I have to win this fight.
“Every fight you’ve got to win and this fight isn’t any different. It’s a title fight, so it’s the biggest fight of my life, and I’m going to do everything I can to win. This is a huge opportunity, so every second of every round I’m not taking my foot off the pedal – I’m trying to win every second.”