No matter how far you look back into Justin Basra’s MMA career, you won’t find a single loss.
Basra, 30, said both he and Calderon have a lot to gain from a win Saturday night, but said he has more to lose if he falls to Calderon.
“Losing isn’t an option for me at this point,” said Basra in an interview.
“If it’s a decision, I’m going to make sure it’s a dominant decision. If it’s a finish, that’s even better. But one way or another I have to find a way to get my hand raised that night.”
Having seen Calderon fight at Hard Knocks 52, Basra, fighting out of Calgary, Alta., said he has a good gauge of what to expect from him, and what his strengths and weaknesses are.
But although he knows what to expect from Calderon on Sept. 29, Basra said he’s at his best when he’s only focused on himself.
“I just want to focus on being the best me, the best offensive version of me, the best defensive version of me, and going in their and performing,” said Basra.
“I think I’m harder to beat that way than if I’m trying to cater to what someone else is doing.”
So far in his professional career, Basra has yet to see a fight go to a decision, earning the finish in all of his four wins before the third round.
But despite having yet to go the distance and truly display his endurance, Basra said he puts a lot of time and focus into his cardio and is always prepared to go as long as it takes.
“If I’m in a 15-minute fight, I’m ready for 15 minutes. If it’s a 25-minute fight, I’m ready for 25 minutes. I train conditioning just as much as I train my skill set,” said Basra.
“You can train your skills as much as you want, but you can’t fake your cardio in there.”
Calderon Looking to Rebound
Coming off two quick losses, Calderon, 26, will also be looking to prove he has eight wins as a professional for good reason.
Calderon, fighting out of Kalispell, MT, said he was a little too quick on the trigger his last two fights, and will be looking to be more patient this time around, a recipe that’s brought him success in the past.
“I’ve learnt to take my time. These last two fights I rushed things a little bit too much,” said Calderon in an interview.
“I need to start doing what I’ve done in the past, which is take my time, figure out the fighter and from there, finish the fight.”
With Basra being one of the top prospects in Canada, a win over him would be arguably the biggest of Calderon’s career.
Calderon was last in the cage in Feb. 2017, and said a win over a high-calibre opponent like Basra would make him eager to get right back in the gym.
“A win over him would make me train a lot more, put more time into it, and be more committed,” said Calderon.
“Obviously, if I beat him, it will be good motivation to keep pushing forward.”
“I just want to thank everyone that comes and supports me; my friends and my family. I’d also like to thank my sponsor Rav from Karma Fine Indian Cuisine. He’s a big supporter and been there since day one.”