Though bantamweight up and comer Mark De La Rosa appeared to have a good performance in his second round submission of Ivan Hernandez-Flores at Combate Americas 10 in January, he was struggling a bit.
Admittedly, De La Rosa wasn’t prepared for one aspect of the fight and it lead him to not have the kind of performance he feels he could have.
“I had the meanest poker face ever, but I was a little tired because I got zero elevation training,” De La Rosa told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve always good cardio, but I never had to deal with elevation (before).
“Usually my output is very, very high, but my output was very low. I still got the job done and looked good, but I should have done some altitude training before the fight, (otherwise) I could have gotten the finish in the first round.”
While the bout itself didn’t quite go as De La Rosa had envisioned, one surprise that was pleasant was how well-received he was by the fans in Mexico City.
“It was great,” said De La Rosa. “I had no idea I was going to be that welcomed, and actually have that many fans, and have people waiting for me after the fight to take pictures. It was a great experience.”
Having learned his lesson in his previous bout at elevation, De La Rosa (8-0) moved his training camp to Colorado to prepare for his return to Mexico City, Mexico, to take on Mahatma Chit-Bala Garcia (6-6-1) in a main card 135-pound bout at Combate Americas 15 on June 30.
“I haven’t seen too much video on the guy, but I’ve seen a couple clips here and there,” De La Rosa said of Garcia. “I think he’s a good 135er, and has a background in Tae Kwan Do and Jiu-Jitsu, and is a very game opponent, but feel I’ve prepared everywhere.
“I’ve had some great training partners come in. I’ve sparred with high-level guys. I’ve put in all the work. I’ve gotten every look possible. All I really have to do is show up, make weight, and then get the job done: win the fight wherever it goes.”
While he’s not one to look beyond what he’s got in front of him, De La Rosa does feel he can compete in multiple weight classes for Combate Americas and eventually become a dual champion for them.
“I like going fight by fight, but the company is still new and is looking for a champ, so I can be their 135lb champ and their 125lb champ,” said De La Rosa. “I can compete at both weight classes and can compete against whoever they’ve got lined up. I can see myself being a champ.”