There’s not much more that flyweight prospect Paul Elizondo Jr. could have done during his first year as a pro in 2018.
In two bouts, Elizondo was able to pick up two finishes and continue on an undefeated streak he had started in the amateur ranks.
“I fought (Freddy Mendez) in the amateur ranks before and beat him, so it was more getting used to the pro environment (in my pro debut last September,” Elizondo told MMAWeekly.com. “I made sure that I gave no room for him to do his offence to do anything. Just to get used to that environment was great.
“My second one was this last December that just passed against a more dangerous competitor (in Nathan Napolitano). It was awesome for me to put on a show in front of everyone at the Save Mart Center (in Fresno, California) and let everyone known that MMA in the Central Valley isn’t anything to joke around with anymore.”
Though his 2018 went well, things have gone a bit less swimmingly in 2019 as Elizondo has found himself on the sidelines for the year so far recovering from injuries sustained in an accident.
“I was prepared to fight in the last Combate (Americas) card that came (to Fresno) in February or March, and I ended up getting into a car crash and ended up messing up my leg,” said Elizondo. “I had to take some time off and let my leg heal.
“I’ve been doing a lot of no gi and Jiu-Jitsu grappling matches to keep my adrenaline going. I’ve been doing a lot of one on one time with really good boxing coaches and really good high level Muay Thai coaches. Everything is working out great. I’m not forcing anything. Everything is coming natural. The timing is great.”
This Friday in Fresno, California, Elizondo (2-0) will finally have his first bout of the year when he faces Mike Tubera (0-0) in a preliminary 125-pound bout at Combate Americas 41.
“Including the amateur he has over double the fights I have,” Elizondo said of Tubera. “Every time I look at him on his film, starting from the oldest day to the present, he’s improved a lot. I’m not taking him lightly.
“I know he’s going to expect my takedowns. Fighting a wrestler now everyone has a little bit of hope now that Ben Askren showed what happens to us when we shoot, but it’s very unlikely (to happen to me like that). You’re going to have to hit me with lightning twice to hit me like that.”
Finally able to get into the cage, Elizondo is looking to at least fight one more time before 2019 is out and take some momentum into 2020.
“I try to go fight by fight, but I try to plan, like for this fight I’m telling myself to get in and get out, and jump on the next one,” said Elizondo. “Sometimes I’ll tell myself after a fight I’ll give myself some time off, but mentally I’m going to jump right back into it right before wrestling starts, which is November.”