Leandro Higo Says He's Ready to Put 2013 Behind Him
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 12.25.2013
It was a rough year...
Leandro Higo recently spoke about his frustrating 2013, looking ahead to the next year and more. Check out the highlights:
On his 2013: "This year, I only fought twice because I had several fights canceled, some fights being off due to lack of professionalism by the opponents, others because no one stepped up. Some wouldn't make weight, others would drop out days before the fight. I should've ended the year with at least six fights. On one of these it was my fault for not happening, as I got a very bad flu and had to go to the hospital three times in the 10 days before the fight. All the others it was one of the situations I previously mentioned."
On missing a title fight: "One of those canceled fights would have been a title bout. My opponent got hurt less than one week after we signed the contract, and the promoter couldn't find anyone to fight me, so he said he'd have to remove me from the card. My manager contacted three other promotions that would be having shows around the same time, and they all said they wanted to have me just to then say they couldn't put me in a fight since no one they offered the fight accepted it. I was already without hopes of fighting this year anymore and after a fight was removed from Coliseu Extreme Fight's Dec. 5 card due to ‘TUF: Brazil' tryouts, they called my manager to have me defend my belt in the co-main event. Then a few days before the fight, my opponent dropped out, and his replacement came in 18 pounds over weight."
On hoping to become a full-time fighter next year: "Unfortunately, I'm still lacking the full financial support necessary to be a full-time fighter. As I live in Mossoro, I have to take a bus 175 miles to Natal to train with the Pitbull brothers and also fly 1,500 miles to Rio de Janeiro to train with Team Nogueira. Sadly, I was given some promises that have yet to materialize and I lost some of the sponsorships that I had due to the companies being in financial crisis. As most of my fights have been canceled this year, I'm just glad at least two of them were after the weigh-ins and the promoter paid me my purse. Otherwise I don't know how I would've been able to support my family and pay all the bills."
On nearly being selected for a UFC on F/X 7 fight: "Ever since then, UFC officials told me to keep active, but unfortunately due to the situations I mentioned before, I just fought twice this year. I never stopped training and have been ready, even to be a last-minute replacement. I'm always ready to fight. My manager is in constant contact with them about me, and we hope an opportunity can appear in the near future."
On seeking challenges: "I never hide behind easy matches. We always ask for guys with the best record and biggest names. We're always after fights that can put me closer to my goal. People may look at the guys I fought this year and question it, but one was a 141-pound catchweight against a guy who was undefeated with four submission wins over respectable opponents, and the other was a last-minute replacement because the original one gave up the day before the weigh-ins. But even then, it was a guy that had a fight scheduled for one week after and had a 46-3-1 muay Thai record, along with his 4-1 MMA career."
On his goals: "I always look for big fights, and I always want to fight the best guys. I'm very aggressive, be it striking or grappling. I always fight forward, always look to get finishes. I would put up great fights not just for the organization but for the fans. I train with the best guys in Brazil, be it at 125, 135 or 145 pounds. Guys from UFC and Bellator, I spar with them all the time, and they all tell me I'm ready for the next level. I have a goal to become a world champion, and I put in all the effort to someday achieve it. But in the end I leave it in God's hands. When it is the right time he'll make it happen."