Confidence Sky-High in Juarez
Juarez (11-5) will meet Joe Christopher (9-2) in a showdown of top-ranked welterweights at MFC 23: Unstoppable on Friday, December 4 at the River Cree Resort and Casino. Juarez is well aware of his opponent, but didn’t hesitate for an instant before stating his case for their impending clash.
“Joe’s a gamer and best of luck to him. But it’s not going to matter. I’m going to win. I’ve trained too hard and too long not take to take this fight,” declared the 28-year-old from Torrence, California.
Juarez is riding a five-fight winning streak coming into MFC 23, and had hoped to increase that number in the past few months, but as many as six opponents have fallen by the wayside. The cancellations have resulted in Juarez landing a new nickname – “The Boogeyman.”
“A lot of people have started calling me that. I think I’ve scared some guys off because I’ve realized what my style needs to be to win,” explained Juarez.
“I honestly think some guys have become scared. I look more like a grappler or submission fighter but every fight starts standing up. I may not KO everybody but they’re so worried about my takedowns that I’m able to let my stand-up do some work. I’ve really started to develop and realize how good I can be.
“I never gas. If I need to go the full 15 minutes then OK. If I need to go 25 to take the MFC title belt, I’ll go 25. And I hope I get that chance against John Alessio. I think he’s going to get the shot at the belt next and I want to fight him.”
First, though, Juarez has to get past Christopher, who needed only 1:54 to dispatch of Andrew Buckland by guillotine choke at MFC 22 back in October. If Juarez is successful and ultimately does get a crack at the title belt, he’ll attempt to join two others from the Bodyshop Gym who have sported MFC championship glory.
Former MFC light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton, who will return to the organization at MFC 23 in an attempt to get his career back on track, trains alongside Juarez, and both are under the tutelage of current MFC lightweight champion Antonio McKee.
McKee gets full credit for turning Juarez into the fighter he is today.
“I was a national champion wrestler in 2005 and then I started taking (MMA) fights left and right and not really knowing what I was doing,” recalled Juarez. “Then I found my way to McKee. He developed a game plan for me and I’ve gone on to this winning streak and none of the fights have been even close.”