Coming off of two straight losses in 2015, Bellator lightweight Derek Campos was in need of turning things around, or he could find himself not only out of contention for a title but possibly a contract as well.
Knowing his back was to the wall, Campos reeled off back to back wins over Melvin Guillard and Djamil Chan in 2016 to turn things around.
“Against Guillard, it was a do-or-die fight, and I rose to the occasion,” Campos told MMAWeekly.com. “Against Djamil, they gave me a tough younger guy, and I still pulled that one out. I try to stay versatile and try to improve from there.”
In particular, Campos is pleased with how he performed against Chan in a unanimous decision victory.
“With the Djamil Chan fight, I wanted to showcase that I’m well-rounded and that I can be dangerous from any area in the cage,” said Campos. “In 2017, going forward from here, my goal is to be well-rounded and become better in each area that I have been before.”
Campos (17-6) will look to take a step closer towards title contention when he faces Derek Anderson (14-2) in a main card catchweight bout at Bellator 170 on Saturday in Inglewood, Calif.
“He’s pretty well-rounded, but I don’t think he’s got a pedigree in any single martial art that he practices. I’m going out there and look to exploit him on the feet, on the ground, wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, anything, and just be better than him and beat him.”
Of the fights he feels could lead him eventually to a title shot, a realized version of Campos’ twice-cancelled bout with Patricky “Pitbull” Freire is not one he feels could be advantageous to him.
“If that fight doesn’t ever come across, that’s fine with me,” said Campos. “I’m trying to fight the best guys in the division. Patricky didn’t do so well against Chandler, he got knocked out.
“To me, the top guys are like Anderson, Brent Primus and Adam Piccolotti. I’m trying to fight the guys who are for sure going to get me to a title shot.”