After an up-and-down year in 2011, Antonio Banuelos is finally set to return to action this month after having not fought since last December.
“I’ve just been training and trying to get a fight at 125 pounds,” said Banuelos. “It’s tough trying to get a fight on these smaller shows. I’ve been training my butt off, on a real strict diet, and I’m ready to go and rock and roll on Sept. 14.”
During his time off, Banuelos told MMAWeekly.com that he, “Worked on my strength and conditioning a lot. I’ve been focusing a lot on my wrestling and foot work because I want to get back to that, (and now) I’m feeling more well-rounded in everything; my striking, wrestling and jits work.”
People around Banuelos felt he might have been holding back at 135 pounds, but he says there is a good reason for that. And now that he’s moved down in weight, he should be much more explosive.
“My trainers and a couple of guys said (I was holding back), but I was fighting quality guys and you just can’t rush in there and try certain things,” he said. “But that was because I was a lot smaller than those guys and I was worried about being taken down, so hopefully at 125 I’ll be a big, strong guy and I can go out and do what I want to do.
“For my upcoming fights at 125, I just want to press it, just redline it, and just go out there and fight at the pace I want to fight,” he said. “When I go out and I’m doing what I do best, doing my thing, I can’t be stopped.”
Banuelos’ first fight at flyweight will come on Sept. 14 when he takes on Joshua Sampo at Legacy FC 14 in Houston, broadcast live on AXS TV.
While he does some strategizing for his individual opponents, Banuelos feels he’s at his best when he’s making the other fighter have to react to him.
“Pretty much for every fight I know their style, but what I want to do is push my pace and push my style,” said Banuelos. “I’m going to push the pace and keep it where I like it; on my feet with my hands moving and try to stay off my back.”
Having always faced the toughest competition in his weight class at any given time, Banuelos intends to keep doing the same and feels like now, not later, is the right time for him to make his move.
“I’m not here to fight nobodies,” he said. “I just want to go out and be the best, and to do that you’ve got to go out and fight the top guys, and that’s what I want to do.
“I want to make my run right now. Moving down to 125 is the start of it. Once I get this going, I’m just going to push it from there.”