It’s been a legendary year for one of Canada’s top promotions. Unified MMA is set to wrap up 2022 with a light heavyweight fireworks display at the River Cree Resort and Casino on Saturday night.
Confident in his ability to get the job done this weekend, Flores is looking for either another opportunity on Dana White’s Contender Series or a chance to become a double champion in Canada’s top promotion. First, he’ll have to get past the hometown champ live on UFC Fight Pass.
“I think it would be great to win the belt. I think they have an American heavyweight champion (Jamelle Jones) and I’m not too impressed by him,” Flores said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I think it would be good to go after that fight and my goal is for the next season of the Contender Series. I think there’s a solid chance I get the call if I win this one, but I don’t want to be sitting on the shelf, so what I would like after that is a shot at the heavyweight strap. I feel like if I’m a double champ it would really help.”
Not known as much of a trash talker throughout his career, Flores tends to be respectful heading into combat. However, he did mention he feels he has an advantage on fight night due to a higher level of focus and commitment to the fight game.
“He seems like a cool guy. I think Unified put up some article that tried to make it seem like I was talking crap. I always try to give a pretty fair shake. He seems like a good guy,” Flores said.
“He’s a firefighter, I don’t think MMA is his primary focus. And I get it, dude, I’m from midwestern America. I also work too, but MMA is my main focus and I think it’s a really dangerous sport for it not to be. I think that’s definitely going to come into play.”
When it comes to the actual skills of the light heavyweight champion, Park, Flores has a lot of respect for his power and finishing ability.
Looking to lean on his gas tank and well-rounded game, Flores feels he holds an advantage pretty much everywhere heading into Saturday.
“Nothing really jumps out too much for me. He doesn’t seem like he’s afraid to trade. Seems like he wants to go for the takedown and then kind of ground and pound guys out,” Flores explained.
“I’m definitely going to be prepared for that. Other than that it seems like he struggles a little bit with southpaws, and I like to change stance pretty often, so I think it’s going to take him a little while to figure things out. He seems like more of a first round finisher, so the longer the fight goes the better it’s going to go for me. But I don’t think either of us are looking to take it to a decision by any means.”
Coming off a tough loss in his last outing, Flores isn’t too picky with how he gets the win in this one.
With multiple submissions and TKO’s on his record, he’s proven he can get it done anywhere. In the words of Flores, you can know what he’s going to do but stopping it is another thing.
“Some guys are always about coming up with something and sticking to their game plan. I don’t really give a shit,” Flores said.
“I gotta be honest, I don’t know, I have an idea of how I want to come out and how it’ll probably go, but it’s one of those things, I don’t take what I want I take what’s given to me. I have a general idea of what he wants to do, but I just feel so prepared in every aspect of the fight.”
A product of Elevation Fight Team and their world class facility, Flores has the opportunity to work with high-level talent day in and day out, which includes the number-four-ranked heavyweight, Curtis Blaydes.
“Curtis has been excellent to train with, he’s just so good. His wrestling, his striking, it’s all top tier, so he’s really difficult to deal with,” Flores explained.
“He was just giving me pointers this week and working stuff out during sparring. He’s been a big help. So many of my training partners are high-level and they’ve been bringing it to me, so it’s awesome.”
“Dave Fish at Paradigm Sports for putting this fight together. All my coaches and teammates at Elevation fight team.” Follow Flores on social media: INSTAGRAM