For Legacy FC bantamweight prospect Patrick “Juggernaut” Ybarra, stepping up to face former UFC vet Damacio Page, being in the moment against such a well-known opponent might have overwhelmed him just enough to lose the bout.
“I watched the fight over and over and realized (what the problem) was,” said Ybarra. “It was being a little starstruck.
“I’ve learned from the experience of it, fighting a name. And because that last fight didn’t go my way, I know I need to get a few wins together to get back into the mix.”
Since the loss in May, Ybarra (5-1) has made some changes in his preparation and is ready to return at Legacy FC 26 on Friday against fellow prospect Johnny Ray Rodriguez (3-1) in San Antonio, Texas.
“He’s a bigger guy who used to fight at 145 pounds and is from San Antonio and he’ll have the hometown advantage, so I think I’m just going to have to go out there and put it on him from beginning to end,” said Ybarra of Rodriguez.
“He is a bigger guy, so I feel he’ll get tired and gas out. I feel I’m better than him in a lot of areas, but I still have to make sure I go out there and do everything right. I don’t want to get caught with anything.”
And it’s that awareness to not make a mistake against Rodriguez that’s more the name of the game in their fight instead of Ybarra wanting to go out and take unnecessary chances in the name of getting back on track.
“Of course I’d love to make a statement and let everyone know that I’m back and that I’m ready for that next level of opponent,” Ybarra told MMAWeekly.com. “But I put it all aside and approach it like any other fight. You can’t get carried away and try to do too much because it would backfire.”
Ybarra is looking to end his year with three wins in four bouts and set himself up for an even better 2014.
“I’ll be happy if I do finish the year off with a victory,” he said. “I think my year went pretty well for me just starting out my career. What I need is more experience, so my goal for next year is to go undefeated and be more active.”