Following over two years away from fighting, bantamweight Horacio Escobar returned to MMA this past December with a first round submission of Drake Heitfield at Shamrock FC 313.
According to Escobar, he was able to keep busy during his time off and it helped him ensure he didn’t have any ring rust when he came back in his win over Heitfield.
“I stay pretty active in between,” Escobar told MMAWeekly.com. “I was very involved coaching other fighters, and staying in the gym. I was really motivated from the point that I had to take time off until the point that I had to start preparing for a fight.
“I had been motivated, and me getting ready for that fight, for me to be able to step back in the cage, I had been looking forward to that moment for a while. I never really wanted to take time off, it just kind of happened.”
For Escobar, while training during his time off helped him see the evolutions he had made in his game, things really coalesced following the victory over Heitfield.
“I think after the fight is when I solidify what kind of fighter I am,” said Escobar. “Especially after the four wins (to start my career), one of them came after submission, and this last one in December also came by submission. I think the development proves that I can take of business either on my feet or on the ground if need be.”
On Friday in St. Louis, Mo., Escobar (5-2) will look for his second straight win when he faces Erion Zekthi (3-1) in the 135-pound main event of Shamrock FC 320.
“I’ve been looking forward to a good fight,” Escobar said. “Testing myself (against Zekthi) is going to be great.
“Walking into this fight I think in order for me to get the win I have to stay consistent with what I’m good at and what I know to do. Definitely coming in being the guy to set the pace and choose where the fight is going to be key towards victory in this fight.”
At 37 years old, Escobar knows his career window is smaller than other fighters, so rather than place an emphasis on where his career goes, he places value on how well he does in his fights, and the rest comes from there.
“I love the journey,” said Escobar. “I’m an MMA guy to the fullest, so I love the journey. I got fight by fight, but I’ve got expectations, and they’re more expectations of myself; of what I want to accomplish and what I want to do.
“When the fights land on the table and I’m able to take them that will be the path, that’s where it will take me. I have good expectations of myself and believe that I should be at a higher platform.”