A prizefighter’s biological clock only ticks for so long; therefore, patience, as John Cardenas (2-0) discovered, can prove more torturous than virtuous.
For over a year, Cardenas has signed multiple contracts, yet his competition never made it to the cage. One cancellation after another caused this undefeated competitor out of American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) to question who would not only save-the-date with a signature across the dotted line, but, more importantly, follow through with their promise.
In a pre-fight interview with Dragon House MMA’s CEO and Matchmaker, Zhong Lou, leading into Dragon House 28 (link here), Cardenas couldn’t contain his excitement when discussing his future meeting on March 24, 2018 with Brandon Laroco, a fellow featherweight with a reputation of annihilating his opposition, inside San Francisco’s Kezar Pavilion.
In addition to the winner salvaging the perfect circle in their loss column, they also will be pushed into the on-deck circle for title contention for the decade-old Bay Area MMA promotion.
Finally, A Fight!
“It’s been about three or four times; after the second fight, the whole camp was done—and it’s always been: camp-after-camp, and it’s always: a week before, two-weeks before, somebody pulls out. Something happens to them, and it leaves me out. Props to [Brandon] Laroco for taking the fight with me.”
“I was born in LA and raised over here in the Sunnyvale/San Jose area. I started wrestling when I was in middle school; always loved it. I was always liked the competition. I saw the Pride videos, and I was like twelve-years-old, and I was just amazed by it. I was like, ‘I’m going to do this one day.’ Me and my brothers were watching, and I was like, ‘I’m going to fight one day; one day, I will step in the cage.’ Sure enough, I just kept grinding. Like I said, I started in wrestling. I did it a little bit, but my goal was always to be and MMA fighter.”
What About the Striking Department?
“I feel comfortable on my stand-up, and I feel comfortable on my ground. I truly feel like I can say that I’m a well-rounded fighter.”
AKA Sunnyvale or AKA San Jose?
“I train at both. I actually teach boxing at the American Kickboxing Academy in Sunnyvale, and we train in the mornings with the pro team in San Jose. I’m in both. I’m getting my sparring and getting all my work over there [San Jose], and I get my mitt work, my ground, my jiu-jitsu over here in the Sunnyvale one. We’re also affiliated with One World Jiu-Jitsu. We’re moving around, but we’re all connected.”
Cardena’s Thoughts on Brandon Laroco
“I’ve seen a couple of his fights. He’s a really good striker—good kicks. I don’t want to expose too much, but we’ve got a good strategy for it. Come that day, we’ll be prepared. He’s got that Taekwando/Karate stance, so we’ve got to be prepared for that, which we will.”
What If It Goes All Three Rounds?
“So far, I’ve finished both my pro fights in the first-round, which I think he [Laroco] has too. Once we get in there, we’re going to have to adjust. Once we get in there, we’ll see how it starts playing out, and we’ll be able to adjust from there. Like I said, I’m well-rounded everywhere. I believe I could keep it standing all three rounds.”
Breakdown Brandon Laroco
“His stand-up is definitely his strongest point, for sure. But he’s submitted people, so he’s got a good ground [game]. If I had to pick, I’d say his weakest point would be his ground.”