After picking up three wins in 2015, bantamweight up and comer Ricky Palacios managed to only get in one fight in 2016.
Though he was only able to have the single fight, Palacios is pleased with how he performed in a unanimous decision victory over Brandon Royval at Combate Americas 7 last May.
“I ended up having a little bit of a problem with my passport,” Palacios told MMAWeekly.com. “I knew Combate was going over to Mexico to fight (in 2016). If it were up to me, I’d be on every single card.
“I went into the fight extremely ready. I’ve been training with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. I knew Brandon was coming from a good camp over there in Denver, and I know because of the altitude he’d have good cardio. Overall it was a great fight.”
One of the up sides to not having as many fights is the fact that Palacios doesn’t have to travel so much for fight camps and can instead work more with his primary gym on growing as a fighter.
“I like the fight camps, but I love being at home,” said Palacios. “When I’m at home I’m able to be around my personal coaches and be able to correct me and stuff like that.
“Sometimes when I go to camp it’s hard to really get in my comfort zone. Sometimes I don’t know my way around places. I love being at home, in other words.”
Palacios (7-1) returns after a nearly year-long layoff when he faces Roman Salazar (10-5) in a 135-pound main event bout at Combate Americas 13 in Tucson, Ariz., on Thursday.
“I feel I’m going to have to be pushing the pace,” Palacios said of facing Salazar. “Just stick to being one step ahead of him: catch him at angles, move around, and stay off the cage. I think that will get me the victory.”
Having been one of the top performers for Combate over the past couple of years, Palacios believes now is the time for him to get a shot at the bantamweight title in 2017.
“I’ve been ready for the next level, ready for the title belt for a while,” said Palacios. “I’ve been with Combate since the beginning. I’ve got four wins. I’m just waiting for that call; waiting for them to tell me it’s my time; and I’ll be ready to go.”