While some fighters may blame being “off” or “not themselves” when it comes to a loss, bantamweight prospect Adrian “Killa” Cruz knows what went wrong in his only pro loss last October and what it’s going to take to make sure it doesn’t happen again any time soon.
“Last year was a pretty busy year,” said Cruz looking back on 2013. “I was fighting every six to eight weeks and had a pretty good win streak going until my last fight with Jesse (Brock at Bellator 105).
“He was able to control me on top when I was on the bottom. He didn’t do much damage to me, but he was able to maintain control, so that’s why he got the decision.”
Since the loss to Brock, Cruz told MMAWeekly.com that he has trained non-stop to get things back on track this year.
“I’ve been working on every aspect of the game and really just go in prepared for anything; whether it’s standing, wrestling or jitz,” said Cruz. “I just want to make sure that wherever the fight goes, I’ll be prepared for anything.”
Considering that Cruz did not have intentions of having a career in MMA when he first started training, where he is now is light years from where he started.
“I really wasn’t training to fight; I was just going to get in shape. I wasn’t as serious then as I am now, obviously,” he said. “Back then it was kind of like a hobby and was going just because I liked to fight. As time progressed and the fights kept coming, I got more serious about it.”
Cruz (5-1) will have a shot at redemption when he makes his Legacy FC debut this Friday in Albuquerque, N.M., against veteran Enrique Briones (13-4) in a feature 125-pound bout.
“I know he’s a pretty tough guy and from what I hear he’s pretty well-rounded,” said Cruz of Briones. “I know he likes to be aggressive with his striking and has good submissions, so for me I just think I need to go in and be ready to stand and strike, and if the fight goes to the ground be able to be in position to work my ground and pound and be ready for a submission.
“I think it’s just being precise, being calm during the fight, and take advantage of any opportunity that I see.”
Since he decided to make a career of MMA, Cruz has steadily pushed himself against tougher competition. A win on Friday could not only put him back in the win column, but also on track for bigger goals ahead.
“Every time I’ve gotten into the cage, my opponents have gotten better with bigger records,” said Cruz. “Jesse (Brock) was a very strong opponent with a very good record, and this fight is no different.
“My coach says that in order to get to the big leagues, you can’t fight any easy fights, you’ve got to fight the best of the best, and that’s what we’re doing in this fight with Enrique.”