While he has primarily focused on Muay Thai throughout his combat sports career, Lion Fight prospect Gaston Bolanos had a chance to showcase his skills to competitors on The Ultimate Fighter Season 24.
Following his coach, Kirian Fitzgibbons, Bolanos worked out with the members of Team Cejudo, hoping to help them add some of his explosive techniques to their own in their quest to win TUF.
“I was there a little over two weeks,” Bolanos told MMAWeekly.com. “It was a great experience. I shared some knowledge of what’s worked for me in the Muay Thai world for the MMA world for other hungry, upcoming, fighters who are attempting to get into the UFC.”
Though he’s had a relatively short Muay Thai career, Bolanos has racked up seven knockouts in eight bouts, with most of those coming by way of his signature spinning back elbow strike.
When asked if he feels pressure to repeat his highlight reel finishes, Bolanos replied, “How the fight finishes is not something I dictate; we have a game plan and I go with it.
“Every fight that I go into I’m always ready for a five round war. I wouldn’t say I’m lucky to have finished these fights I’ve finished the way that I have, because I work very hard, but every fight I’m ready for five rounds.”
Bolanos (8-0) will get a chance to challenge for his first major Muay Thai title when he takes on veteran standout Tum Sityodtong (75-22-3) in a Lion Fight main card lightweight title bout on Friday in Mashantucket, Conn.
“I’m the underdog and I’m completely okay with that,” Bolanos said. “There’s always pressure, but it’s good pressure. I have to have to perform and rise to expectations.
“People expect me to lose. That drives me. That gives me that fire. That gets me through my training sessions. I need to put a lot of volume on (Sityodtong), I need to put the pressure on in the beginning, and that’s what’s going to win me the fight.”
While claiming a Lion Fight title would be a great way to add to the start of his career, Bolanos is not looking to slow down anytime soon, and hopes to get back into the ring sooner than later.
“I never turn down a fight, and I’m always willing to challenge myself and face people with more experience than me,” said Bolanos. “I have no problem being the underdog every time, I’m okay. I don’t know what Lion Fight has planned for the rest of the year, but I hope I can get in more fights.”