In February, Gunderson derailed the surging Justin Buchholz, and just a couple weeks ago he followed that up by finishing off Karo Parisyan halfway through the first round of their ShoFIGHT 20 bout.
“I showed up to that fight knowing I had a lot on the line, so I just went out there and gave it my all and it went the right way,” said Gunderson.
“I knew he would come prepared and really wanted to win, so if I were to keep up a fast pace and stay in his face, things would go my way, and that’s what happened.”
Gunderson told MMAWeekly.com that he is a far better place now than he’s been in some while.
“I feel like at this point and time in my career, this last six months, I feel great,” he said. “Physically, mentally, I feel like I’m starting to peak.”
While other fighters might take time off after such a big win and fish for a deal, Gunderson decided to go another route and strike while the iron was hot by signing to face up-and-comer David Castillo at UCS – Caged Combat 6 in Grand Ronde, Ore., on Saturday night.
“I’m just going to go out there and whatever happens, happens. I’m going to work my game,” said Gunderson. “I’m only focused on what I can do, instead of what the other guy’s going to do.
“I know that a loss here would be devastating, and a win would be one step closer to the big show. I’m ready for challenges. I feel like not too many people would step up and take a fight coming off such a huge win, but that’s the kind of fighter I am. I’m willing to step up to any challenges – I’m ready.”
At this stage in his career, Gunderson knows that it is now or never if he’s going to make his return to the upper levels of MMA. Luckily for him, he’s at a place in his life where he feels up to such a task.
“This is a must-win situation, and if I want to move on to the big show, I’ve got to get past this guy and prove that I’m top tier,” said Gunderson.
“I’m feeling good right now, my body feels good and everything seems to be clicking on all cylinders and I feel like this is my time. Every athlete has a point and time where they’re going to peak and be at their best, and I feel like I’m getting there.”