2014 is turning out to be a banner year so far for lightweight up-and-comer Tom Marcellino.
Following two losses last year, Marcellino has rebounded with a winning his three most recent bouts, including a recent title victory in Reality Fighting.
“Fight-wise in 2014, I’m happy,” Marcellino told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m on a three-fight winning streak. Two of them were submissions. My last fight I won a title in my first five-round fight.
“I knew (I could go five rounds) before in training, but it was really nice to say that I did it and that I can fight a full 25 minutes. I think it will make preparations for three-round fights easier.”
While on paper it appears as if Marcellino needed to change things up after his back-to-back losses, as he explains it, they were more a case of bad luck than a lack of skill.
“I don’t want to make excuses in a fight, but the Andrew (Osborn) fight I had some personal things going on and I should have pulled out of the fight, but I didn’t,” said Marcellino. “I wasn’t really 100-percent in that fight.
“The Brenson (Hansen) fight I actually broke my leg. It was a freak accident and I was in a cast for seven weeks after that fight.”
Marcellino (7-2) will be seeking his fourth win a row at WSOF 13 on Saturday night in Bethlehem, Penn., against a fighter he’s very familiar with in Frankie Perez (8-1).
“We’re actually on the same team,” said Marcellino. “It doesn’t usually happen, but we both got the call and we both accepted it.”
Marcellino feels he and Perez are very similar, but that he has the advantage going into the fight.
“I think Frankie by far is my toughest task,” said Marcellino. “A lot of people have him ranked as one of the best lightweights not in the UFC – and I agree with that statement – but I think I’m just better than him at everything he does.
“I respect all his skills – he’s very skilled – but I think I do the same stuff as him just a little bit better.”
Marcellino feels there will be a lot of eyes on his bout with Perez, and that whoever comes out on top will definitely reap the rewards of a victory.
“I feel like if (Perez) wants to get to the next level, he’s got to beat me. If I want to get to the next level, I’ve got to beat him,” said Marcellino. “We’re both in the same position. We’re both ready to take steps forward.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to see where I’m at and where I’m going.”
(Photo courtesy of World Series of Fighting)