Former UFC lightweight John “Quick Guns” Gunderson isn’t the type of person to mince words. When asked about how last year went for him, he replied, “To be honest with you, I feel 2011 was a terrible year for me.
“I alternated wins and losses, and just didn’t have that great a year. Sometimes it just happens. I was managing a gym and it took a lot of time for me and was a lot of stress. I just wasn’t focusing as much on training as I should have.”
Gunderson has since transitioned to a new job and feels he’s got more time now to dedicate to the important things in his life, like his daughter and fight career.
It’s with that new focus that he intends on making 2012 a better year than his last couple.
“I just want to make sure that I have a couple good showings,” he said. “I want to fight three or four times this year and just have fun. This is my 40th fight coming up, so I want to make sure I show I’ve got the skills, that I’ve gotten better and just entertain.”
Gunderson could accomplish his goal of having an entertaining fight right out of the blocks, as he takes on Justin Buchholz at Superior Cage Combat 4 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday night in an explosive fight for the promotion’s 155-pound title.
“It could be a fan-thrilling match-up,” said Gunderson. “Justin is a tough kid; he’s athletic and comes from a tough team. He’s well-rounded, and I always like fighting tough guys, so it should be good for the crowd.
“I know I’ll be ready for the fight, and so will he, and that’s good because that’s what drives me.”
While there could be a very good chance of fireworks in their bout, Gunderson told MMAWeekly.com that he’s anticipating finishing the fight on the ground.
“I think I’m going to submit him,” said Gunderson. “I can’t say that he’s got a big hole, but there’s anywhere he’s weak, that’s where it’s at. Not that my jiu-jitsu is strongest, but my MMA jiu-jitsu is strongest. When it comes to MMA, I think I can tap him out. I can put him in a bad situation and submit him.”
Even though he’s fought for multiple titles in the past, Gunderson still feels an extra sense of motivation when it comes to getting a chance to add another belt to his collection.
“I’ve probably fought for 10 to 15 before, so all it is just training a lot harder to make sure I can go five rounds,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to win another belt. I feel like SCC has some good fighters, and fighting a guy like Justin and getting a belt against him means something to me. It’s extra motivation.”
As Gunderson puts it, motivation is going to be a big thing for him at this stage of his career, taking fights that inspire him, and ultimately allow him to return to the big stage of MMA.
“I get fight offers to fight all the time, but to be honest, I turn down certain fights because I just want to take fights that interest me,” he said. “If I’m not in the UFC, there’s no reason for me to be fighting people I know or are friends with. I’d rather fight guys from other camps or I don’t know. It’s easier to get up for them.
“A fight like this (against Buchholz) definitely makes me get up and put everything I have into it.”