Having gone undefeated in the three years prior to 2019, bantamweight Shawn Bunch was looking to keep his momentum going in his first bout of the year versus Dominic Mazzotta at Bellator 219 in March.
Over the course of three rounds, Bunch was able to control the action enough to come out of his bout with Mazzotta with a unanimous decision victory, giving him a five-fight winning streak in the process.
“I feel like I did well and dominated through most of the fight,” Bunch told MMAWeekly.com. “I wish I could have made it a little more exciting, but it is what it is. I didn’t finish like I really wanted to, but I dominated and I got the win.
“Everything (during this winning streak) has just been clicking overall. I’ve found my comfort zone. I’m comfortable out there. I’ve kept my momentum going win after win, just staying focused, and taking care of the job.”
When it comes to the 2019 version of himself, Bunch feels like he’s getting to the point where he can call himself a veteran of the sport, even if he hasn’t had the kind of fight output that would normally be associated with such a designation.
“My confidence is rising each fight,” said Bunch. “The more fights I get the more confident I get, the higher I become in the rankings, the more I carry on and grow and learning and becoming better each time.
“I’m a vet from the standpoint that I’ve been competing my whole life. I’ve only had 12 fights, so I’m still learning in the cage. It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t be more consistent; I’ve been healthy for the most part in my career but it was just a hard time finding fights when I was coming up.”
On September 28 in Inglewood, California, Bunch (9-3) will look to keep his winning streak going when he faces Leandro Higo (18-5) in a main card 135-pound bout at Bellator 228.
“I feel like I match up pretty well against him,” Bunch said of Higo. “He’s tough. He’s a vet. He’s got a lot of fights. He’s been around for a minute. He likes to bang. He likes to make fights exciting. I can use that against him. I’ve got to stay calm, relaxed, use my speed and all my tools to my advantage.
“I’ve trained with him before. I’ve been over there and worked out with the Pitbull brothers. I was over there for about two weeks, so I’m familiar with their training, and am familiar with him. I worked out with him, so we’re pretty familiar with each other.”
Should Bunch be healthy enough to do so, he would like to have at least one more bout before the end of 2019, with one specific opportunity in mind.
“If all goes well and I’m healthy I would love to get something,” said Bunch. “I would love to have a quick turnaround. I would love to fight before the end of the year.
“I would love to even fight for RIZIN in Japan for that New Year’s event; that would be the perfect opportunity to get some international exposure.”