Will Campuzano Forging a New Path Post-UFC; Open to Hideo Tokoro Rematch

October 21, 2013
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Will Campuzano at WEC 46Following 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.”

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  • Advance*

    He seemed pretty tall and lanky for bantamweight. It’s funny to hear him saw he was undersized. If he’s making flyweight and doing well then I guess he was right.

    • Timothy Malone

      Thats actually a good point. Going back and looking at the guys he was losing too–Campuzano is 5’9, Chris Cariaso was 5’3(! now at flyweight too), Nick Pace was 5’7, Eddie Wineland is 5’7, Damacio Page is 5’6.

      • Matt Wallace

        Will is 5’9″ ish, but was walking around under the 135lb weight and not having to cut while Damacio and Eddie both cut 15-25lbs by their own admission. That’s a huge percentage at that weight as compared to 205, 185,etc. He’s where he needs to be now and the future is bright.