As Rexroad explained to MMAWeekly.com, “After the fight in December, I wanted to take some time off, and we had originally planned to have this fight in June, but then some things came up and it got pushed back until now.
“It’s a longer layoff than I wanted, but at the same time (fighting as much as I did last year) you’ve got a lot of sacrifice, especially with your family.”
While the layoff was not expected, Rexroad used the time off productively.
“I’ve been working a lot on my wrestling,” he said. “I’ve always been comfortable with my stand-up and jiu-jitsu, but I needed work on my wrestling. I wanted to get that up to the same level as the rest of my game and make it equal all the way across the board.”
As Rexroad alluded to earlier, he will finally get a chance to fight for the first time this year in the main event of Legacy FC 14 on Friday night in Houston and live on AXS TV.
Originally scheduled to face Jorge Patino, a knee injury has forced him out of the bout just over a week away from the fight, so now Rexroad will face Lucas Pimenta Borges.
“I spent the last two months working specific things, and you can’t change that in eight days, however, we can make little adjustments,” said Rexroad.
“This new guy is a southpaw, so I made a little bit of adjustments in my movement and some of the combinations that I’m looking for. As far as any major changes in my game plan, no, I already it ingrained in my mind and muscle-memory and stuff like that.”
While he doesn’t know a lot about Pimenta, Rexroad has seen some footage on his opponent and feels, “I should have a reach advantage and a height advantage. So with my striking, I should be able to edge him out. I know he’s a black belt under Luiz Azeredo in N.J., so he should have really good jiu-jitsu, and I should stay away from the bottom as much as possible.
“I think that my cardio and my striking will be able to help me dictate where the fight goes.”
After nine months away from fighting, Rexroad feels this fight could very well be one to put him back on the map and lead towards a big year to come.
“Legacy is nationally televised on a major channel (AXS TV, formerly HDNet) that is known for carrying lots of MMA, so the hardcore guys and people in MMA watch that channel, so anytime you get that exposure it lets a lot of people see what you’re capable of doing,” he said.
“Lucas is very talented, he’s fought in Bellator and just beat a UFC veteran in a tournament he did down here, so he has a great record, bigger show pedigree, so a win over him could do nothing but help me.”