by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
After continued success in the Northwest fight circuit, John “Quick Guns” Gunderson has found it difficult to break through on the national stage.

Rollercoaster results in the International Fight League (IFL) were followed up by a lengthy amount of time off due to injury, further setting back what had looked like a promising career.

Undeterred, a return to action this year has seen Gunderson go 3-1. He’s on the verge of possibly making the breakthrough into the spotlight with a title shot in the highly respected Ring of Fire promotion on Aug. 1 against tough Chilean fighter Fabian Acuna.

“I’m just trying to get my name out there and fight more; just trying to get that rust off,” Gunderson said to MMAWeekly.com about his 2009 return. “Once I got hurt, I had to overcome a mental block, and I think I’m getting there now.

“I’m feeling good, had a good training camp and I’m just ready to go out there and fight.”

After a disappointing loss to Bryan Travers in the now-defunct Palace Fighting Championship (PFC) in May, Gunderson won his comeback fight in June for the Desert Brawl promotion and looks to build off that victory in August.

“I’m coming in with some confidence,” he stated. “That (Desert Brawl) fight went really well for me. I went out there and executed what I wanted to.”

“I think I deserve to be in a big show, and I’m ready to go out there and prove it.”

Colorado’s Ring of Fire has been the springboard for many of today’s top MMA talents, including UFC veterans Eliot Marshall and Alvin Robinson, and WEC stars Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Leonard Garcia, amongst others.

Gunderson hopes to follow in those footsteps with a title win over Acuna on Aug. 1.

“I thank them a lot for giving me this opportunity,” said Gunderson. “I’m taking it really seriously because it is a good organization and it is five rounds for a title.

“I’m ready to go out there and show what I’m capable of. I’m ready to have an exciting fight.”

Acuna recently returned to MMA after a six-year layoff; and Gunderson intends to use that to his advantage in the fight.

“I think my cardio is in great condition, because I’ve pushed it to its limit, and I think my experience is going to come through,” he commented. “I’m hungry and I want this fight. I want this win. I want this title.

“Obviously he’s tough, or he wouldn’t have a title shot, and he’s going to be the hometown guy, so I think it’s going to be my back against the door going in there with the altitude and all that. But I think I have the experience and I’m ready to fight anyone.”

Taking a title in Ring of Fire could go a long way towards getting Gunderson to where he wants to go in the coming year.

“I’m looking to get into a bigger show,” he said. I have my eye on Strikeforce, but I also like Bellator because I think they do good things, and the number one show I know everyone would like to go to is of course the UFC.

“Before my career is over I get in at least one fight in with them. I believe in big things, and fighting against the best is what I want to do.”

Eager to make things happen, and in the best condition of his career, Gunderson intends to make 2009 a year to remember.

“I just want to thank all the guys at Xtreme Couture, L.A. Boxing, and Shawn Tompkins for his help,” he said. “Thanks to everyone who has stuck by my side and believed in me.

“I ask them and anyone who can to check out the fight; I’m going to go out there, throw down and leave it all in the cage.”