Strikeforce welterweight prospect Roger Bowling admits he wasn’t all there in his last fight against Bobby Voelker, which resulted in the first loss of his career.
“I’m not going to say I took him lightly, but I just didn’t train like I should,” Bowling told MMAWeekly.com. “If I were to be working a regular job, I would have called in sick that night.
“It’s not that I was sick; I just didn’t come to fight. I just didn’t feel like I was ready to go in there even before the fight in the locker room. I don’t know what it was, but I felt like I was in a bad dream walking to the cage, I wasn’t ready to go.”
The adage of learning more from a loss than from a win appears to have not been lost on Bowling.
“It made me go back to the drawing board, see everything I did wrong, and learn a lot from the loss,” he commented.
“When you’re winning, everything’s great and you want to keep everything the same, but when you get knocked off the ladder, you and your camp have to figure out what you did wrong and what adjustments you need to make so it doesn’t happen again and you can get back up and start climbing the ladder again.”
Bowling feels injuries hampered previous training camps, but such issues didn’t slow down his preparations for his first fight since the loss. He steps back in the cage at Saturday night’s Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson in Columbus, Ohio.
“I’m going in completely healthy, had a great training camp, and am 100-percent,” stated Bowling. “My body’s healthy and I’m excited to be fighting a couple hours away from my hometown of Cincinnati.
“This is how I made my start and it will be nice to hear a few cheers for me from my hometown friends and family there to support me.”
Bowling’s return comes against up-and-coming Gracie fighter Josh Thornburg.
“I’ve been working a lot on my jiu-jitsu, because he comes from a good school training with the Diaz brothers,” said Bowling. “They’ve got a good jiu-jitsu background and good stand-up, so I’ve been training hard on everything.
“My coaches and I have a really good game plan going in at him and I should be able to impose my will in a bunch of different areas. I feel comfortable with it and I feel it will be a good comeback fight for me.”
When asked his goals for 2011, Bowling simply replied, “Win.
“I want to spring back. That last fight kind of lit my fire and I want to keep learning, improving, and winning.”
Having suffered his first loss and learned from the mistakes he made inside and outside the cage, Bowling for 2011 to be his true breakout year.
“Everybody check out FightFuel.com, and thanks to my sponsors: Intimidation Clothing, Farmers Insurance, and everyone I missed,” he said in closing. “Thanks to my training partners and everybody at Team Vision.
“Strikeforce is going to be near my hometown and I’m coming out hungry and I want to redeem myself for that last performance and show everybody what I’m about.”