BAMMA USA welterweight champion Ernest “EJ” Chavez knows the benefits of preparation.
Heading into his most recent title defense against Jorge Valdez at Badbeat 9 in May, Chavez extensively studied his opponent and was able to come out on top with a third-round TKO.
“When we got originally lined up to fight, we just thought that he was really good on the ground, to the point where it kind of works against him in a sense that he rolls to his back a lot and won a couple matches from his back. So we worked a lot on defenses for his arm bar and triangle to the point where I felt 100-percent comfortable to throw my arms out there to ground and pound,” said Chavez.
“I knew that with him keeping attacking for submissions, he would get tired out because nobody can go five rounds that way. So when we went into the fight, it went as we expected. When we saw him fading out on the third, I put the pedal down on the gas and finished him.”
The win raised Chavez’s record to 7-0 and established him as one of the top fighters in the BAMMA USA promotion.
Not one to sit back and enjoy his success too long, Chavez is right back in the mix as he looks once again to defend his title in a rematch of his first pro fight against Dionisio Ramirez (7-3) on Friday, Oct. 25, at Badbeat 11 in Commerce, Calif.
“I actually fought him in my MMA debut fight and he was a hard match then and he’s grown and is harder now,” said Chavez of Ramirez. “I feel like my cardio is to where I can go five fives, and I think that will be the biggest issue. I’ve got to put the match where I want it to be and not fight his strengths.
“I’m not scared of his stand-up, but I need to be realistic, I’m a ground fighter. I’ve got to take it to the ground and put my advantages to play. I’m hoping that maybe in the third or fourth round I can wear him down enough to get the finish.”
Should Chavez successfully defend his title once again, he’ll be looking to gain more exposure and hopefully take his career to the next level in 2014.
“I’m really happy with the BAMMA USA organization. They’ve given me an opportunity and I’m glad I’ve been able to capitalize on it,” said Chavez. “After this, whatever opportunities I can get, then that’ll be great. Whether it would be on The Ultimate Fighter or try to get another promotion’s belt, I want to get recognized in Southern California one way or another.
“It’s not through Twitter or Instagram, which I’m not very good at. It’s got to be through word of mouth that I’m going to stake a claim. I’m looking to finish him in this fight and show that I’m evolving and I’m dangerous. If a bigger opportunity comes along, I’m going to take it.”