After the rollercoaster ride of alternating wins and losses in his last six fights, former UFC lightweight John “Quick Guns” Gunderson is looking for a little stability.
In particular, Gunderson’s loss to Dominique Robinson in February was particularly painful.
“I shouldn’t have even shown up, I was so sick,” he said to MMAWeekly.com. “I had strep throat and shouldn’t have been there, but I’m one of those guys who shows up when I sign to fight.
“We had a little history where leading up to the fight where I was a little upset and took it personal; and you can’t do that against an athlete like the kid I last fought – of course you’re going to lose. In my next fight, I’m going to show up 100-percent and when I do that, my chances of winning are real high.”
Gunderson acknowledges a night and day-like level of performance of when he’s 100-percent versus not.
“I’ve just really focused on being healthy,” he said. “I’ve just had so many fights and so many injuries. Where the injuries come is training for the fights. I can’t take fights on short notice. The only place that you should do that for is the UFC.
“I’ve got enough experience and enough of a skillset that I’m a hard fight for anybody when I’m healthy.”
To further his turnaround and to help prepare for his upcoming fight at Superior Cage Combat 2 at The Orleans Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday night, Gunderson brought in an Xtreme Couture training partner to get him in shape.
“For this fight I hired a conditioning coach who is an ex-fighter (in) Dennis Davis,” said Gunderson. “He comes out to the gym where I work a couple times a week and he trains me.
“I’ve had a lot of great conditioning coaches in the past, but to have one who’s fought and know what it takes (to compete in MMA), it helps a lot. It’s good to have someone there to help that’s been there and done that.”
Gunderson explains the move was a necessity after he had a career first against Robinson that he never wanted.
“That was the only time I’ve never made weight,” he said. “I was talking about fighting at 145 (before the fight), and I couldn’t even make 155 because I was so sick.”
Now that he’s got his health issues taken care of, Gunderson’s focus is on facing James Birdsley at SCC 2.
“I’ve watched the guy early in his career, and when I was first starting out, he was hell on wheels,” said Gunderson. “At this point and time, I’m a much better fighter.
“I feel that if I can get after him, I don’t think he’ll handle it at all. If I pressure him I feel like I can finish him. It’s going to be a fight; a scrap. I’m a counter-fighter, but when I’m aggressive, fights usually fall in my favor.”
Gunderson doesn’t want to look beyond Birdsley and think about a return to the big show, but instead intends to focus just on what he can control.
“At this point, I don’t really know (when I’ll return to the UFC),” he said. “You’re only as good as your last fight and I had what I feel like was my worst performance.
“If it happens, it happens; if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m just going to continue on enjoying fighting. You can be called up at any time, and I’m willing to fight anybody. Any lightweight out there; I’ll fight anybody.”
With further refinements to his life, Gunderson hopes that his Aug. 20 fight will be the start of a stable chapter in his career after a lot of uncertainty.
“Come check out Superior Cage Combat 2,” he closed out. “They’re doing a lot of big things with a lot of name fighters.
“There’s going to be some great fight, especially mine. I’m going to come in there like it’s a street fight; just go in there and get him out of there.”