Following two straight losses in the UFC at bantamweight, Texas-based Will Campuzano decided it was time to make a change, and that change resulted in an impressive six-fight winning streak spanning the last two years.
“After being released from the UFC, I was still at 135 pounds and very undersized,” said Campuzano. “I dropped a weight class to 125 pounds and now I’m not undersized anymore. That’s the big difference now.
“I feel great. I think I’m more athletic and I’m stronger now. I think that was the problem before, I wasn’t physical for the level of competition was fighting.”
While he’s managed to look very good during his current winning streak, Campuzano’s most recent win at Japan Vale Tudo on Oct. 6 against Dream veteran Hideo Tokoro didn’t go as planned.
According to Campuzano, traveling to Tokyo for the bout made it a much closer fight than he anticipated, resulting in a controversial split-decision victory for himself.
“The fight was difficult,” said Campuzano. “The big issue was the time difference. After arriving on Wednesday and fighting on Saturday, I just never adjusted. I couldn’t sleep; my sleep scheduled was messed up. We flew in at 4 a.m. Texas time and I just wanted to sleep, and I was so jetlagged I couldn’t perform.
“I wasn’t being physical, he controlled a lot of the fight time, but he wasn’t being aggressive. He just held and didn’t do anything. He tried to not get hit. I was trying to finish the fight at all costs.”
The fight was so close in fact, that Tokoro’s camp has formally protested the decision to Shooto, the governing body for the JVT event.
When asked his thoughts on the possibility of the decision being overturned, Campuzano questioned, “Can they do that, reverse the decision?”
Regardless of what happens with the inquiry, Campuzano told MMAWeekly.com that he’s already focusing what’s next. And if Tokoro wants to do it again, he is more than willing.
“I just move on,” said Campuzano. “It is what it is. I took a big risk coming to Japan and fought the best that I could with everything that I have.
“I think in the end, if the fight would have taken place anywhere but Japan, I wouldn’t have been as sluggish. I’d get the win regardless and if he wants a rematch, we can do it here in the States this time.”
As for what’s next, Campuzano isn’t quite sure, but with his current output, it doesn’t seem like it would be long before someone comes calling for his services.
“I’m a free agent without a manager or a promotion right now,” he said. “I just want more name recognition.
“I’ve been busting my (expletive), but I don’t think I’m getting it in the States, so I’m going to do some travelling and get more exposure. At this time, I’m just pursuing that.”