(Vasquez attacks Alberto Crane. Props to Full Contact Fighter.)
WEC featherweight Javier Vazquez is mad as hell and he’s not gonna take it anymore.
“I’m tired of losing, especially the way I’ve been losing. Its not like I’ve been getting blown out. I could just as easily be 2-0 and a title contender right now,” says the 12-year mixed martial arts veteran, who dropped back-to-back split decisions to L.C. Davis and Deividas Taurosevicius since arriving in the WEC last August.
Vasquez meets Jens Pulver this Saturday at WEC 47 from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Ohio. “Showtime” cut his teeth in the sport’s dark days, back when Pulver was the first UFC Lightweight Champion, and Vasquez “woulda fought him all day long.” After winning the Most Inspirational Performance award from Sports Illustrated for battling through a torn ACL in a King of the Cage victory over Alberto Crane in 2003, Vasquez decided to hang up his gloves.
The sport evolved as the Carlson Gracie Team black belt focused on teaching in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. In doing so, he gained confidence he could still compete with the best, all while enjoying pay days that finally justified the toll of training, he returned to fighting in 2007. He fought twice that year and didn’t take another match until 2009.
“I’m just tired of telling people I can do it. I’m just going to do it and that’s it. I’m just irritated and pissed off,” says Vazquez. “A lot of people were telling me, yeah I’m a huge underdog. Good. I’m glad people think that. Because the people that think that don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.
“They really don’t know who the hell I am. Its just funny how just because somebody is more known than another guy that they automatically, ‘Oh, he’s gonna win, he’s gonna lose.’ It’s just hilarious to me. And the guys who’ve trained with me know I have just a good a chance as anybody to beat the best guys out there.”
Fighting in what could be the biggest WEC show to date and on the main card for the first time against an old competitor with a big star, Vazquez left his camp for the first time to ensure victory. He trained under the guidance of Erik Paulson and his CSW team. He hired a strength and conditioning coach for the first time, which he felt kept him from finishing fighters in the past.
“I’m gonna win and this will probably be the end of Jens Pulver. Whether people like it or not, I can give a rats crap. This is my time and I’m gonna do it,” says Vazquez. “And nothing anybody tells me is going to detract me from it. That’s it. That’s the bottom line. I’m pissed off at the way the cards have been dealt.
“I’m sick and tired of judges who don’t know what the hell they’re watching. I’m not going to let it go to a decision. You’re going to be impressed. I think everyone’s going to be impressed. They’re gonna walk away and be like, ‘Holy shit, he’s for real.’”