by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
As the war for established talent continues to heat up between Strikeforce and the UFC, the development of young talent could be key in the future continued success of both companies.
Among the next generation of stars coming up through the Strikeforce ranks is welterweight Cung Le product James Terry.
A former champion in the smaller Cage Combat promotion, Terry debuted for Strikeforce earlier this year, and has won both his fights for the company, including a second straight victory over Zak Bucia on the undercard of the Aug. 15 Showtime: Carano vs. Cyborg.
“I thought I performed well,” Terry told MMAWeekly.com of his win. “I didn’t get injured, and my opponent didn’t get injured. I won with a spectacular knockout, so I’m excited.”
As Terry points out, while he’s happy his performance made him a standout for the evening, it was just as important to get a win like that for the sake of his career.
“I think definitely it’s important at Strikeforce for me to impress the promoters, but at the same time, in my career I’ve had just five decisions in seven wins. For me in Strikeforce, my future there and in my career to grow as a fighter (it was important) to get that finish,” he stated.
“Show myself that I can be confident in my striking, because if I am confident, look what happens.”
Terry hopes to return to action before the end of the year against increasingly difficult opposition, like who he was originally slated to face on Aug. 15.
“I have a contract for two more fights with Strikeforce, but nothing was discussed who my future opponent would be,” commented Terry.
“I was supposed to fight Jason Von Flue, but it was changed at the last minute because he broke his orbital bone in a previous fight like three weeks before the Strikeforce event. Maybe if he heals up, I’ll fight him, but really I honestly haven’t heard anything.”
Terry reiterates that it’s time for him to take the next step up, so it may be tougher competition or nothing in his mind.
“I don’t know who the up and coming fighters are in my weight class,” he admitted. “I focus on myself and the things I’m going to do.
“I obviously know the top-notch guys in Strikeforce from 170-180 (pounds), and I’m definitely looking to step it up and fight tougher competition and get up to the big show where I’m fighting in main events for title contention.”
The coming years could begin to see the shift of veteran fighters stepping away from the spotlight and the next generation stepping into it.
If Strikeforce wishes continued success if that future comes true, it will need the services of Terry and his contemporaries.
“I’d like to thank BR Flooring, Ameritech Capital, Key Chiropractic, MTP Release, and GFY Gear,” he concluded. “I’ll be back this year and looking to improve on the performance I had in my last fight, and I’m going to step up in competition as well.”