In fact, this week is as busy as it gets for the top fighters at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA gym.
Even before heavyweight Frank Mir and featherweight Clay Guida take part in Saturday’s UFC 164 pay-per-view card in Milwaukee, four other Jackson-Winkejohn fighters will enter the octagon tonight.
TheJournal will preview Mir’s and Guida’s fights later in the week. Here’s a look at tonight’s four fights that feature locally trained fighters in Indianapolis:
CARLOS CONDIT: “The Natural Born Killer” has a lot riding on his rematch with Martin “Hitman” Kampmann in tonight’s main event (as was also covered in Tuesday’s Journal).
Not only did Kampmann (20-6) win a decision over Condit (28-7) in 2009, but Condit is coming off back-to-back losses. While those unanimous-decision losses were to the top two ranked fighters in UFC’s welterweight division (champion Georges St-Pierre and No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks), a third straight loss likely won’t keep Condit at main-event status.
“We’re looking for a little redemption,” coach Greg Jackson said. “I think Carlos is a lot better than he was the first time he fought Martin, but I think Martin has improved, as well.”
Said Condit: “I wouldn’t want to be fighting me right now.”
DONALD “COWBOY” CERRONE: Cerrone (20-5) is the No. 6-ranked UFC lightweight and fights No. 10 Rafael dos Anjos (19-6) in the card’s co-main event.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know much about Rafael dos Anjos and have never seen him fight,” Cerrone said. “He is in the Top 10 in the UFC for a reason, so I’m sure he’s very dangerous.”
ERIC “GOYITO” PEREZ: The 23-year-old is on an eight-fight win streak, including his past three in UFC fights. Perez (13-4), considered a rising star in the sport, fights Takeya Mizugaki (17-7-2) and is hoping this fight further propels him up the rankings.
“We’re not in a place where we’re going to start calling people out,” Mike Valle, Perez’s coach at Jackson-Winkeljohn, said. “He’s developing as a fighter. We’ll see how this fight goes and how he does against a skilled fighter like this. And we’ll see how he reacts to this and go from there.”
BUBBA “THE MENACE” MCDANIEL: McDaniel (21-6) has won seven straight fights and faces a very skilled and successful fighter in Brad Tavares (10-1).
“I expect him to come out and try to beat me all the way up,” McDaniel said. “He is smart enough to know I’m coming to do the same.”