In winning the King of the Cage flyweight championship (135-pound limit) on May 25, former Strikeforce Challengers participant Frankie Saenz has begun taking the necessary steps to make an impact in the 135-pound division.
“I thought it was a pretty good match-up for myself,” said Saenz of his title fight against Marvin Garcia. “He and I are both wrestlers, so we just kind of planned to out-wrestle him. We knew he had a few overhand punches and stuff like that, so I just tried to be patient, calm and kept my hands up.
“The game plan was just wear him down that first round by make him keep grappling and fighting for position, and then in the second round things would start opening for me.”
Saenz feels the win over Garcia is a good indicator of where he’s at in his career.
“It was definitely a good win,” said Saenz. “(Garcia’s) got a good record and any win like that is a good win. I’m just trying to build my record myself and hopefully I can keep getting matched up with tough guys.”
The win was Saenz’s second in a row following back-to-back losses, one of which he disputes, but has ultimately moved on from.
“I had a run of bad luck,” he said. “In my last loss (to Jeff Fletcher in May 2012) I accidentally kneed him in the head (while he was grounded), so they gave me a loss for that, which could have been a no-contest, but whatever.
“I’ve just stuck with the plan and it’s kept me going as a fighter. I feel good now and am becoming a more well-rounded fighter.”
Having been close to the bigger stages before, Saenz feels he can get there sooner rather than later as long as he stays the course he’s currently on.
“I’m just trying to build up to be on those bigger shows,” he said. “I’ve had some good fights approach me and I’ve taken advantage of them.
“The more wins I stack up, the more experience I get, and I should be ready for those big shows soon. Until then I’ve just got to keep defending this title and do the best that I can.”