After going undefeated over the course of his first year as a pro fighter, featherweight up and comer Jose “Froggy” Estrada suffered the first defeat of his career in May to Emilio Chavez at Combate Americas 14.
Not one to look at things with rose-colored glasses, Estrada understands what went wrong against Chavez and gives his opponent all the credit for picking up the win.
“Chavez came out with a game plan and knew what he wanted to do,” Estrada told MMAWeekly.com. “He didn’t want to strike with me. He knew I was heavy handed. He came out and did what he had to do. His Jiu-Jitsu game was on point that night. He ended up taking my back and choked me out.”
Thanks to the support of those around him, Estrada was able to get over the disappointment of his first defeat and get back into the gym with the goal of making a change to his career that would help get him back on track.
“I made the decision that the 155-pound weight class wasn’t for me anymore,” said Estrada. “I’ll be joining the featherweight division – which is stacked all over the world. My training after that fight has really intensified and is on another level.
“I’m used to being a lot bigger, I’m used to having a little more meat on me, but I love the way I feel. I feel a lot faster. I’ve definitely kept my strength. I feel explosive. On September 15 I’m going to show everybody why I joined the 145lb weight class and that I’m going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
Estrada (3-1) will look to get back on the winning track when he takes on Izic Fernandez (2-3) in the main event of Combate Americas 17 on Friday in Redlands, Calif.
“I feel good and feel no pressure at all,” Estrada said. “I’m going into this fight with full confidence. A bunch of respect to Izic Fernandez, but once we get locked up in la jaula, it’s a whole different story. It’s just going to be me, him, and the ref, and there’s no way out of there after that.
“Respect to him now and leading up to the fight, but I’m ready to put on a show for everyone to watch.”
Just on the road back now, Estrada isn’t looking beyond September 15 and what he has to do then. While he does have an idea of what he’d like to accomplish, none of it happens if he doesn’t take care of business against Fernandez.
“We always take one fight at a time,” said Estrada. “There’s no need to rush ahead. The game is tough, it is rough, so it’s always good to take little steps. I don’t like to get ahead of myself, so I take one step at a time.
“After this fight I do plan on fighting one more time this year, and if Combate thinks I’m ready for that strap, that’s one goal I do want, I want that strap around my waist.”