Following a standout amateur wrestling career, Colorado prospect Jarred “Shoutout” Mercado has made the transition to MMA and so far things have gone very well.
In 12 pro fights Mercado has amassed an 11-1 record, including his most recent victory over Josh Huber in February for the Fight to Win promotion, which put him back on the winning track after suffering the first loss of his career last year.
“It was my first fight down at 135, which I felt was a good move for me based on my height and everything, and the fight went well,” said Mercado. “I dominated for the most part. There’s things I can work on, but that happens with every fight. I’m back in the gym and ready to go again.”
After having exhausted a good portion of his available opponents in his area, Mercado has made the step up to the RFA and looks to take his career to new heights with the promotion.
“I’ve kind of fought everyone I could fight in this area, so I think it’s time for me to step up,” Mercado told MMAWeekly.com. “The RFA has more fighters that I can take that next step against. I think this gives me a chance to showcase myself and take me to that next level.”
Mercado’s first fight for the RFA will be this Friday in Broomfield (just outside Denver), Colo., against Trevor Prangley student Daniel Swain, who is one of a half a dozen opponents originally slated for this fight.
“I think I’ve been offered six different names total, but unfortunately things have come up and guys have changed,” said Mercado.
“Obviously you want to always be focused on your strengths and weaknesses, and would like to game plan for guys, but I think my coaches do a really good job of being prepared for all different situations that we’ll be in a fight. I feel well-prepared whether I’m fighting a grappler, striker, tall or short, we cover it all.”
With him and Swain both coming from a wrestling background, Mercado feels the fight will come down to will and who is able to impose theirs the most in the fight.
“I have to make sure my intensity is at the right level,” said Mercado. “A lot of wrestlers are grind-it-out type fighters, so I have to be prepared to match and top that right from the beginning. When you fight another wrestler, it’s natural to see who the superior wrestler is, and I think I am.”
A win at Friday’s RFA show will not only put Mercado one step closer to a possible championship, but could also serve as the start of his ascension to the next step of his career.
“RFA has been a great launching point for guys, and this fight is a Number One contender fight, so whether I get the call up or fight for the RFA title, I feel I control my own destiny at this point,” he said. “If I fight well, fight hard, opportunities are there, but I’m going to stay in the moment and do as well as I can in this fight.”
(Photo courtesy of CMO Photo)