After having picked up a win in his first bout of 2018 against Federico Betancourt for Iron Boy MMA in March, former UFC bantamweight Roman Salazar ran into trouble in his next bout.
Facing Casey Kenney in June for the LFA, Salazar came out on the losing end of a unanimous decision, ending his two-fight winning streak in the process.
“I hit a bump in the road with the Casey Kenney fight,” Salazar told MMAWeekly.com. “I felt I won the fight. I thought I was doing good in there and was pleased with my performance and the way I was evolving as a fighter.
“It changed my mentality; I’m not going to leave anything in the judges’ hands, and I’m going to chase finishes, and have fun and remember why I enjoy this sport.”
Though Salazar acknowledges the loss on his record, he is nonetheless pleased with what he was able to see from himself in the Kenney bout.
“At this point I’m a veteran, I’ve been around a long time, and there’s no such thing as moral victories, but just watching the fight I did everything I needed to do and everything I wanted to do,” Salazar said. “I really felt great.
“I was never bullied. I clipped him more than he’d ever been hit. It’s one of those things; I know he’s a tough up and comer; and both of us are at that UFC level. I grew a lot from that experience. No amount of training replicates close, tough, rounds of fighting.”
Salazar (12-7) will look to rebound when he returns to Combate Americas for the first time in a year on Friday in Phoenix, Arizona, to take on Eduardo Alvarado Osuna (5-3) in a main card 135-pound bout.
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“I don’t think there’s anyone in my weight class in the world that can make me uncomfortable anywhere,” Salazar said. “I’m kind of like a chameleon. I’m not the best at any one thing, but I’m good at everything and mixing everything together.
“I honestly think I can put (Alvarado Osuna) away. I don’t see him making it all three rounds. He’s had a tendency to be put away, and I’m not the kind of guy you want to get hit by.”
With a few months left in 2018, Salazar intends to take some time off, but he is always ready should a good opportunity arise for another bout before year’s end.
“Since I’ve had a couple of fights scratched, this is my fifth time cutting down this year, so I might take some time off for the holidays and spend some time with my family,” said Salazar. “I’m always open if something opens up
“When I say I’m taking time off, I’m still training, but I’m just not cutting weight. I’m literally always in the gym. I’m the general manager of the gym that I fight out of. So I train twice a day every day. I love this lifestyle and I live for it.”