Johnny Bedford wants to 'attack' Edwin Figueroa at KOK 9 to earn his WEC spot
18 August 2010
Every move he makes, including recently joining the ranks of sports management company KO Dynasty, is geared toward joining the ranks of World Extreme Cagefighting, which Bedford believes houses the best 135-pounders in the world.
On Friday, he will finally engage his target: McKinney's Edwin Figueroa at King of Kombat 9 in Austin for the promotion's bantamweight title.
Always business-minded, the co-owner of Fitness Fight Factory says he would move two steps ahead with a win over the scrappy Saekson Janjira Muay Thai product because the WEC wants him to "attack" fighters with winning records like Figueroa's to get his shot.
Bedford contends that because his first fights were under not-so-legitimate circumstances, his official record of 16-8-1 is short of nine wins. Though, whether it's 25 or 16, it's not the wins, but the losses that are making the difference.
"Those losses are haunting me now," Bedford lamented. "I took a lot of stupid fights early without knowing anybody, without knowing jiu-jitsu, [saying] 'I'll fight anybody.' Just a lot of stupid losses."
Thus, Bedford needs a win over a scrappy, undefeated opponent like Figueroa, who has submitted or knocked out all of his opponents.
"It looks great on paper," Bedford said. "Do I think he's a great opponent? I respect him, but I don't think he's fought anyone like me. His last win was against an opponent who's, I think, 7-11 (Warren Stewart's record is actually 5-12), and I think that's [Figueroa]'s biggest win."
Meanwhile, Bedford has enlisted some new training partners who definitely look good on paper.
Joined by their mutual training backgrounds through Nate Mohler's academy, Bedford has joined forces with WEC veteran Will Campuzano (7-2) and undefeated brown belt Jason Sampson (6-0). Bedford feels that Campuzano and Sampson perfectly supplement his current training partners and best friends, undefeated featherweight Chas Skelly (7-0) and Douglas Frey (8-4).
"Then, you add my wrestling pedigree," Bedford said. "I think I'm pretty well-rounded and gritty and then you add guys like Chas [Skelly], who's got phenomenal wrestling, Douglas is pretty well-rounded -- I mean, you put us all together, there's really nothing that we don't see daily that can happen to us in a fight. So, if we stick to this, sky's the limit for all of us. We're all getting better every day."
The higher one climbs in MMA, the greater the greater the risk of falling, of suffering an upset. An upset like Brian Melancon's demolishing of the well-traveled Todd Moore at Legacy Fights at the end of July, or, closer to home, Joseph Sandoval's dramatic comeback victory over Frey, who also spoke of big things in his immediate future.
Bedford remains unphased.
"I was heart-broken for Doug," Bedford said. "But does that affect what I'm gonna go out and do? I don't think so. Again, this is the best training camp I've ever had."
"It was hard but it's an individual sport when it comes down to it," Bedford added. "For the last five, six weeks I've been focusing myself on one thing and one thing only, and that's this fight. The King of Kombat title would be cool, but really, it's just another win to the record and move on and get to where I want to be: WEC."
Navigate to our calendar for more information on King of Kombat 9, and stay tuned for ongoing coverage...