Following a loss to close out last year, up-and-comer Azunna “Zulu” Anyanwu not only wanted to rebound with his first fight of 2015, but also prove to people he had what it took to be a top tier heavyweight.
Against Lewis Rumsey at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 47 in March, Anyanwu was able to take his first step towards that by picking up a first round knockout.
“In that fight I wanted to make a statement because I had lost to Plinio (Cruz) before that,” Anyanwu told MMAWeekly.com. “I really wanted to bounce back off that loss, so I worked really hard to get myself in shape and be mentally prepared for the fight.”
Anyanwu chalks up his loss to Cruz in December as the result of bad preparation, thus he worked hard to make the improvements that got him off to a good start this year.
“I had nothing to really change, but I just had not such a very good camp,” said Cruz. “So I didn’t change things, but added a few things to my game. In my next fight, you’ll see a little bit more added to my game than I already have.”
Anyanwu (8-3) will get his chance to show his improvements when he rematches Cruz (7-5) this Saturday at CFFC 50 in Atlantic City, NJ, for the promotion’s heavyweight championship.
“I’ve just got to stay offensive,” said Anyanwu of his rematch with Cruz. “The last fight I didn’t attack him. I basically stood there and didn’t move. This time I’ll be more active and the regular ole Zulu that I’m used to being.”
Defeating Cruz will not only allow Anyanwu some redemption, but he feels will be the perfect way to prove himself ready to move up to the next level this year.
“It’ll get back my belt, which I lost to him, and will probably set me as the best heavyweight unsigned to the UFC right now,” said Anyanwu. “I think this should do it. A good performance – a stoppage – should get me in. I can perform with anybody in the world right now, I think.”