Following a successful 2018 that saw him win all three of his bouts, featherweight Daniel Pineda was looking to continue his momentum into his first bout of 2019 versus Rey Trujillo at Fury FC 32 in May.
Half way through the first round, Pineda was able to pick up a TKO win over Trujillo, making it his fourth victory in a row, and his eight win in his last 10 bouts.
“I went out there just like every fight,” Pineda told MMAWeekly.com. “I prepared just like every fight. The outcome came out as expected in my eyes.
“I’m sure Rey didn’t have the same expectations. We’re pretty close, we know each other pretty well, but when the bell rang we were going to try to knock each other’s heads off. It went basically as planned for me.”
Nearly 40 fights into his pro career, Pineda feels like his game is still evolving and improving. In particular Pineda is pleased with how he’s gone from being singularly focused on wrestling to a more complete fighter.
“When I first started fighting I wanted to brawl,” said Pineda. “I want to wrestle and get somebody down and beat them. Now I’m a lot more technical. I’ve added so many things to my game. The evolution is awesome to watch.
“Before I just wanted to wrestle and beat you up, but now I do everything. I do wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu; I’ll bite down on my mouth guard and swing if I have to. Everything is kind of coming together to where it all flows.”
On Thursday in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Pineda (26-13) will look to pick up his fifth win in a row when he faces Gadzhi Rabadanov (12-3-2) in a main card 155-pound bout at PFL 5.
“I don’t know too much about him,” Pineda said of Rabadanov. “Me and my team usually don’t watch too much tape, we kind of going into every fight knowing we’re going out there to win. It’s no different than any other (fight) to be honest.
“Anybody can catch anybody at any time. Somebody can always get lucky, so you have to go into every fight 100 percent prepared, and that’s where I’m at right now.”
At this stage in his career, Pineda is just focused on what is in front of him and enjoying each opportunity that comes his way.
“Always (the focus is on) one at a time,” said Pineda. “This is the last run that I’m going to make. I’m putting 110% into it. We’re taking every phone call then we go with it.”