2014 is looking to be a breakout year for bantamweight prospect Victory Henry.
Following a tough split-decision loss to Joe Murphy at Fight Club OC in April, Henry rebounded with the biggest win of his career when he defeated Japanese superstar Hideo Tokoro in July. The win over Tokoro was one that many people did not expect Henry to win. But if anything, Henry enjoys disappointing those who would underestimate him.
“I just got back from Tokyo where I fought Hideo Tokoro and knocked him out in the second round,” Henry told MMAWeekly.com. “People had their opinions on what was going on, and the 80-percent of people who thought I was going to lose were wrong.
“The way I look at it, as long as my coaches have faith in me, I don’t care what the standings are; I’ll just go out there and fight my best.”
Henry (7-1) will look to top his win over Tokoro by challenging for the Super Fight League bantamweight championship against fellow top prospect Cory Vom Baur (7-3) at the promotion’s American debut in Tacoma, Wash., on Saturday, which is sold out, but will be available for live viewing for free on the SFL Youtube channel at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
“He comes from a wrestling and has some pro boxing experience, so that’s going to be something to deal with,” Henry said of Vom Baur. “I come from a more traditional background.
“To get this win I have to stay behind my jab because he’s a southpaw and use my cross a lot. I’ll have to use my tricky legs as much as my hands and use my dexterity.”
Defeating Vom Baur would be a good enough achievement on its own, but Henry’s mindset is that the only way to truly win is to finish his opponent.
“All I really go for is the finish,” he said. “I’m not really satisfied with going to decisions.
“Josh (Barnett) taught me that way – to not be happy with decisions. And if I win a decision, it’s still a loss, because it’s out of my control. I have to go in there and I have to get the finish.”
After a tough start to the year, Henry is on the verge of his biggest high yet. But still, he won’t rush anything in an effort to build his career the right way.
“It’s about building me and making sure that I’m an asset as far as a fighter goes,” he said. “I don’t want to be a wash-out that goes out as soon as they come up.
“A win like this would definitely put me on the radar. I don’t know what my last fight (against Tokoro) did, but getting a win over Cory should do a bit to help advance my career, especially since we’re fighting for a belt, and that’s pretty nice.”