Though he picked up a win in his most recent bout this past April versus Alan Cantu Garcia, bantamweight Joey Ruquet isn’t overly pleased with his performance.
For Ruquet, his loss to Bruno Cannetti in December of 2018 had residual effects that caused him to have a less-than-acceptable performance against Garcia.
“With Alan, I didn’t actually like my performance,” Ruquet told MMAWeekly.com. “Coming off the knockout (loss to Cannetti) at Copa Combate, I was a little hesitant with some stuff and I feel like I missed a lot of opportunities in that fight.
“I did what I was supposed to, but I feel I didn’t fight how I should have.”
While Ruquet is understandably disappointed in his loss to Cannetti last year and how it has plagued his first outing of 2019, he does feel some good came from the defeat.
“That fight sucked getting taken out like that. It was the first time something like that happened to me, but I grew a lot of strength from that fight,” said Ruquet. “There are a lot of things I hadn’t worked on before that I was able to work on. It made me a better fighter, actually, and I’m ready to show my skillset.
“I feel smarter. I feel my fight IQ has improved. I feel more dedicated. I’m feeling more well-rounded. Just all around I work better and fight three times as better as I did before.”
On Friday in Lake Tahoe, Nev., Ruquet (7-2) faces Gustavo Lopez (10-4) in a rematch of their 2015 bout, this time in the bantamweight championship main event of Combate Americas 42.
“Because he has that win, he thinks this is like the first fight,” Ruquet. “I had gone to Florida to fix my marriage. I wasn’t training. I was doing things I shouldn’t have. They gave me a fight offer on two weeks notice and I needed the money and took it.
“I didn’t have the cardio. In that fight you don’t see me using the jab or see me using a lot of punches to set things up. It worked out for me, but I couldn’t hit him in the right spot, I cardio’d out, and he came up with the win. I don’t take anything away from him because a win is a win, but it’s not going to be the same as before.”
While paying back a loss and claiming a championship would be a great thing for Ruquet, in order to do those things he first has to get the win versus Lopez and that’s all he’s focused on.
“My main focus is just to beat Gustavo,” said Ruquet. “I haven’t really thought about the title. I do post about it because it is a title fight, but my main focus is just beating him. The title will just be the reward for beating him.
“My short term goal right now is just to beat Gustavo; but long term goals is to keeping what I’m doing, going one day at a time, keep pushing and be the best that I can be.”
(Courtesy of Combate Americas)