With three wins in his three XFC fights, lightweight Eric “It’s A Wrap” Reynolds has earned his way into his 155-pound title shot against Nick Newell at XFC 21 on Friday night in Nashville, Tenn.
Perhaps most impressive of those three wins was his last, as he defeated Lorenzo Borgomeo this past September.
“I gave up 20 pounds in that fight because it was a catch weight and he was at 180 and I was at 160, so there was a size difference, but I feel like I handled him very well,” said Reynolds. “Nobody was expecting me to pull off a submission victory over him, but I shocked everyone and guillotine choked him with ease.”
For Reynolds, finishing his first fight in nearly two years was a big step forward.
“I had three decision fights in a row, and if you look at my record, that’s not my style, that’s not what I produce,” he said. “It feels really great to get back to finishing a fight.
“I have just as many submissions as I do knockouts, so I like to keep everyone on their toes guess what I’m going to do.”
It’s that ability to take the fight anywhere that Reynolds hopes will play large in his bout against Newell at XFC 21 on AXS TV.
“It’s going to be a five-round fight, so there’s going to be lots of time for him to make mistakes, and I plan on capitalizing on when he does,” said Reynolds. “I’m a fighter like he’s never faced before, and I plan on testing his heart inside and out. Every aspect of the fight he’s going to have to come 100-percent.”
Newell has gained attention for having his hand and a portion of his arm amputated. While this may cause some fighters to underestimate Newell, Reynolds told MMAWeekly.com that it’s not going to be an issue for him.
“He will get no sympathy from me,” said Reynolds. “I’m taking him as serious as a heart attack.
“I’m not trying to underestimate anybody that signs the dotted line to face off with me in the cage. If he’s willing to take the fight against me, I’m treating him like he’s the best fighter in the world.”
For Reynolds, taking the title is only one part of the equation. He wants to be a defending champion in 2013 and establish himself as a top 155-pound fighter.
“I would love to defend my XFC belt against whoever they feel deserves a shot,” he said. “It’s hard enough to win the belt, but it’s even harder to keep it.
“I’m smarter than I was and am living a different lifestyle. I have a family now that keeps me grounded, I have a trainer that puts his time into it just as much as I do, so all those all those missing pieces of the puzzle are falling into place and I’m a much more dangerous fighter now.”