While he didn’t have as much output as he would have liked in 2018, featherweight up and comer Jose Mariscal feels like his year was productive for the growth of his game.
In particular, for Mariscal, the biggest thing was learning to adapt to adversity when applying his game in bouts.
“Last year I was still trying to figure out my style,” Mariscal told MMAWeekly.com. “I over-do strikes or I over-throw, so I felt like last year was me finding my range and where I find guys with my own technique.
“If my first move didn’t work or my second move didn’t work, we had a third or fourth. I’ve just been learning more and I feel great. I feel like I’ve evolved so much over this past year.”
It is because of his development that Mariscal isn’t overly frustrated with only fighting twice in 2018.
“We had a bunch of guys back out of some cards we were looking at,” said Mariscal. “Last year I didn’t fight that much; I try to fight three or four times.
“I look at it as a good thing because I sharpened up all my weapons. I’ve been with this team for two years, and I’m still trying to learning their styles, so I just sharpened up more with my coaches and teammates.”
Mariscal (8-3) will look to kick off his 2019 on a high note when he faces Youssef Zalal (6-0) in the LFA 57 lightweight main event on Friday in Broomfield, Colo.
“I actually saw him at LFA (56 in December) and right that’s when I wanted to fight him,” Mariscal said of Zalal. “I saw him and I heard he said if he was healthy he wanted to do this Denver card, and I was ready too and looking for a fight.
“I want the best guys. I don’t want to be overlooked. I want the top guys, and that’s what we did (by getting Zalal). I feel like my style is a little more advanced than Youssef’s, and I feel like I’m going to do the right things to win this fight.”
For Mariscal facing someone like Zalal is a means to an end; it helps pave the way towards making a move up to the next level in 2019.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to do, and that’s why I call out the best guys,” said Mariscal. “I want the best names that are out there that are floating around. I feel like with this fight, hopefully sometime I can make that step closer to a bigger show.”