Mike Quintero headlined the main event for LXF 1 under the bright lights of the inaugural show with a shot to win the heavyweight title. It was a rematch with Jack May, a fighter he submitted the previous year. Instead of taking the fight back on the ground, Quintero was dominated on his feet for the entirety of the night.
The 43-year-old Mexican heavyweight contender, who teaches various fitness and physical education classes at Los Angeles Community College, said he has learned his lesson as he gets another shot at the title when he takes on Jay Silva on Nov. 15 to headline LXF 4 at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center as the main event.
"I was flat and in a burned-out state of mind. I hate making excuses, but I was nowhere near 100 percent in that fight against May," said Quintero. "It showed, it was one of my worst performances. I had nerve damage in my left arm. It would have been an easy fight for me had I gotten him down to the ground. He outpointed me on his feet because of his hand speed. I learned a lot from that fight."
Quintero (5-2) said he became fatigued because he had four straight training camps with only one fight to show for it as he was bit with the bad luck of guys pulling out of fights last minute. At his age, the non-stop training ended up being taxing.
"It’s agonizing because I’m an older athlete, and I put a lot of heart and soul into my training. I pride myself in cardio, and push myself to the limits. When you don’t get to fight, it’s soul-stomping," said Quintero. "My strength is grappling and my advantage is on the ground, but I’ve been working on my striking and it’s caught up. If the fight with Silva stays on my feet, I’m good with that. I feel that I’m well-rounded. When I hit the ground, I’m a finisher. I want to show the best version of myself."
The former defensive lineman who played football at Occidental College, a Division III school, said he will use his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to realize his dreams as champion against Silva (12-12-1), a one-time middleweight who is now riding a two-fight winning streak since debuting as a heavyweight in 2017.
"With all of the years I’ve dedicated to this sport, I want to end it with a championship. It will make everything extra special. It will be a great message to my students and make my father Ruben proud," said Quintero.
"I would like to show my full potential. I want to translate my great sparring sessions into the fight. It’s all about putting in the hours, grinding and working. It eventually pays off."