Following a stretch where he had just one fight over the course of four years, King of the Cage welterweight title contender Sam Liera has had a stellar 2012, finishing all three of his opponents and raising his record to 7-3.
“I got injured and trying to find people to train with was really hard,” said Liera. “Now I have people helping me out, so it’s a lot better. This year I’m having a great year and I haven’t lost one yet.
“I’m just very excited to be back and fighting constantly and not just fighting once a year.”
Though he’s finished all three of his opponents this year, Liera told MMAWeekly.com that the wins showed him that there are still problems he needs to address in his game.
“I feel I’ve done okay, but I could have done better,” he said. “I was out for a while, so I’ve been a little rusty and am still getting back into it.
“Every time I train, I perform really well, but when I fight I get too excited basically like I’d never fought before.”
Liera will get a chance to cap off his year in a big way when he challenges for the KOTC welterweight title on Thursday, Dec. 20, against David Gomez at the San Manuel Casino in Highland, Calif.
“He seems like a stand-up guy who doesn’t really go to the ground much,” said Liera of Gomez. “For me, I don’t really mind standing up and banging with him. I have no problem with that, but if I get in trouble and I have to take him down, I will take him down and try to finish him on the ground.”
When asked if he feels that Gomez is the type of fighter he can use to truly gauge where his game is at, Liera responded, “I believe so.
“He is a really good fighter, so if I can beat him, then I’m sure I can beat many other good guys.”
Now that he has an opportunity again to make more of a full-time commitment to fighting, Liera’s goals are simple: win the welterweight title on Dec. 20 and soldier forward.
“The next step is defending the belt in King of the Cage and, if things go well, move on from there,” he said. “I’d love to fight great fighters. I don’t want to fight decent fighters; I want to fight great fighters.
“There are some great fighters that aren’t in the UFC. Fighting great fighters betters myself and helps my career move along as well.”