While 2016 started off the way that featherweight up and comer Marcos Bonilla wanted, the year ended in disappointment.
Decision wins over Rudy Morales and Izic Fernandez for Combate Americas had Bonilla on an overall three-fight winning streak, before a third round TKO to AJ Bryant at CXF 5 derailed his momentum.
“I felt like I was a little bit on the shelf, so I took a fight (against Bryant) in December, and everything was going well, camp was good, and sure enough the week of the fight I got the flu,” Bonilla told MMAWeekly.com.
“I decided not to pull out of the fight. It didn’t go my way. I was stopped with like 30 seconds left. I’m not sure if it was due to a cut or what it was. It didn’t end 2016 quite on the end that I wanted to.”
Bonilla admits while he felt an initial sting in the loss to Bryant, he was able to move past it because he felt like he performed as well as he could have until the end.
“Not taking anything away from my opponent, but I felt I was the better fight, and had it not been for my body not responding, being sick and the weight cut, it was my fight to win,” said Bonilla. “I held into it a little bit, but then I decided it’s done and time to move on.”
Bonilla (4-3) will look to get back on track when he returns to Combate Americas on March 30 in Tijuana, Mexico when he takes on Ramon Lopez (1-2) in a main card 155-pound bout.
“I’m taking the fight on three weeks’ notice,” Bonilla said. “I was literally having a beer when my manager called me (about the fight).
“I don’t have a lot of time to study of my opponent, but from what I’ve seen I’m very confident of my skill. I’m going up a weight class to 155-pounds, so I’ll have to deal with his size. I’ll be smart with my movement and pace myself and make sure I use my energy in the right spots and right moments.”
After not achieving everything he set out to in 2016, Bonilla is looking forward to making the most of things in 2017 and having a more complete year for himself.
“It’s the same goal I had last year,” said Bonilla. “My goal is to go through my fight campaign in 2017 undefeated.
“I definitely would like more fight with Combate. A few more wins and maybe we can start talking about the possibility of title contention with the promotion. But let’s see how this one goes first before moving on to the future.”