Joey Villasenor: “I Got Hometowned in My Own Hometown”

Joey Villasenor and Chris Camozzi fight to a draw

Joey Villasenor and Chris Camozzi fight to a draw (photo courtesy of Shark Fights)

Normally when a fighter is the victim of a “hometown decision” it’s because they are fighting in their opponent’s hometown, not their own. But such is the case for Joey Villasenor, who last Friday ended up with the first draw of his career when he faced UFC veteran Chris Camozzi in Albuquerque, N.M., in their Shark Fights main event bout.

“I couldn’t believe the outcome,” said Villasenor. “I’m still shocked and I’m upset. I just wanted to be rewarded for what I felt was the right thing to do and give me the win.

“I got hometowned in my hometown, which is amazing. My coaching staff, Chris, all the fans in the crowd, and even the commission didn’t understand what happened.”

Normally when a fighter complains of being on the wrong end of a judges’ decision, he’s the only one who feels he was wrong, but in Villasenor’s case, even his opponent supports his take on the fight.

“Chris actually came over to me and told me that I had won the fight,” Villasenor told “He didn’t agree with the decision. I think that’s awesome of him. He gave me some kind of relief there.”

It is possible that the judges felt Villasenor’s performance was lacking, to which he has a good reason for appearing so.

“I was fighting at 60-percent,” he admitted. “I had the flu and almost pulled out of the fight about two days before. I was really contemplating it.

“I remember being in side control (in the first round) and my body not responding to what I wanted it to do. That’s when I realized that the cold was really taking effect. I went into the fight mentally sharp, but my body just physically wasn’t following what I wanted to do.”

If Villasenor would have been healthy, he feels things would have played out differently than they did.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful and say that it wouldn’t have been close, but I really do feel like if I would have been more in his face with more combinations and more output,” he said.

Joey Villasenor lands on Chris Camozzi (photo courtesy of Shark Fights)

Joey Villasenor lands on Chris Camozzi (photo courtesy of Shark Fights)

“If you look at all my fights from top to bottom, I’m always throwing hard and going for it. Just in this fight I was taken aback. I’ve got a lot of respect for Chris Camozzi; he took a lot of big shots and showed a lot of heart, and has big things in his future.”

As for where Villasenor goes from here, he’s looking forward to returning to action as soon as possible and continue to rebuild his career.

“Physically I’m in great shape, but I still have the cold, so I’m going to take a week off and shake it off, and then get back in the gym and just perform again,” he said. “I’ve got the opportunity to compete more often, so I’m going to do it.

“Hopefully the next bout we can announce soon who (it will be against) and when, and hopefully we can wrap up another win. My whole goal is just to compete, have fun, and earn it.”

While he didn’t get the outcome he expected in front of his hometown crowd, Villasenor intends to stay the course and keep fighting for those who stand behind him.

“I want to thank my family, my teammates, and coaches for helping me prepare for this fight,” he closed out. “Thanks to the fans for supporting me and you’ll see me again soon in the future. I love competing, so I’m not going anywhere.”