Following a loss to Josh Parisian at Dana White’s Contender Series in June of 2018, heavyweight Greg Rebello looked as if he was going to call it a career until people around him convinced him to make one more run at fighting.
After getting healthy following a string of injuries in the previous years, Rebello returned at CES 57 last July and successfully defended his heavyweight title against Kevin Haley via first round TKO.
“I just took a lot of time off and just tried to get my body back physically where it should be and just got in better shape,” Rebello told MMAWeekly.com. “People were like, ‘You’re still the best heavyweight around here, so why not come back and just do one more and end on a win,’ or whatever, so I just kept training and I got healthy and felt good.
“My goal was when I came back to was defend the title twice and that’s it really. Kevin Haley, I fought in July and obviously it went really well. It was probably the best I felt in a long time. Now here we are.”
It initially looked as if Rebello would get his second title defense in before the end of 2019, but due to an injury to Parnell Davis, their scheduled October bout was scrapped and Rebello’s follow-up was pushed to 2020.
“(The CES) looked at a few guys on short notice, and I didn’t really want to do it, and honestly wanted to push the fight to January, and that’s pretty much what we did,” said Rebello.
“I’m used to (fights falling through). It’s happened a few times in my career. Injuries are a part of the game, and I don’t get upset about it, because it is what it is.”
On Friday in Lincoln, Rhode Island, Rebello (25-9) will look to defend his championship when he faces Tebaris Gordon (3-1) in the heavyweight title co-main event of CES 60.
“There’s not too much film on him, so it’s hard to judge,” Rebello said of Gordon. “Greg Hardy clipped him right off the bat (at Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018), so I can’t really judge too much on him.
“He’s a good striker. He’s a big heavyweight. I don’t worry what those guys are going to do – because I think that causes a lot of people to hesitate – I just worry about me. If I go out there and fight how I usually fight I’m going to get my hand raised.”
Having initially set his sights on defending his CES title twice before calling it a day, it’s possible Rebello might keep his career going beyond his next fight. As someone who doesn’t set a roadmap for his career, Rebello has no set plans for 2020 or beyond.
“I take my life one day at a time,” said Rebello. “I don’t get ahead of myself. I take it one step at a time. I do not look ahead at all. I get a task in front of me, and I just worry about that every day in training and that’s it.”