This past April, bantamweight up and comer Ricky Palacios picked up his fifth straight win with a split decision victory over Roman Salazar at Combate Americas 13.
Palacios admits Salazar did a good job in taking him down, but otherwise he was the one who dictated the action of the fight.
“I controlled the first and second round mainly with my jab and with my distance,” Palacios told MMAWeekly.com. “I hurt (Salazar) in all three rounds.
“I think he controlled more with the takedowns; he took me down and held me down, but he didn’t hurt me. I was expecting a war and was expecting him to try to take me out, but unfortunately it wasn’t that way. My performance was good, but wasn’t great.”
Taking into account where each fighter shined, Palacios understands how close the decision was, but still firmly feels it was his bout to win.
“It could have been considered close,” said Palacios. “It depends on how you saw the fight. It could have been close, but I know deep down that I won that fight.”
On Thursday in Miami, Florida, Palacios (8-1) will look to keep his winning streak going when he takes on Chris Avila (5-4) in a main card 135-pound bout at Combate Clasico.
“I think I have to be aggressive, be quick on my feet and be one step ahead of him,” Palacios said of facing Avila. “Get in and get out.
“He’s a lanky guy and has good Jiu-Jitsu and comes from a good camp. I’ve got to be a little bit smaller with my technique, get inside and work him, and try to get a finish if possible.”
Having originally intended to take a bit more time off after his Salazar fight, Palacios is nonetheless eager to get back into the cage to take on Avila on Thursday.
“I wasn’t preparing for a fight because I cut my shin in my last fight and I wasn’t training because I wanted to prevent anything,” said Palacios. “They called me for this fight and I figured why not, and went back into training.”
Having had great success in Combate Americas, Palacios is looking to parlay his winning ways towards fighting for a title for the promotion in the near future.
“If I think if everything goes good, I’d like to fight again in September or October,” Palacios said. “If I win this fight, I’ll be 6-0 in the Combate cage, so I think that next step would be for a championship belt.”