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BJT STOKED FOR BELLATOR SEMIS

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By Patrick LujanBJT2

As Baby Joe Taimanglo climbs the mixed martial arts mountain, new obstacles will abound.

Preparing for this weekend’s Bellator Featherweight Tournament Semifinals in Bellator 103 in Wichita, Kansas, Taimanglo’s new obstacle is not an opponent, but time.

For the first time in his illustrious career, BJT will have a quick turnaround to fight – less than one month after advancing to the semifinals with a unanimous decision win over Andrew Fisher in Bellator 99 on Sept. 13.

“This is the quickest three-fight stretch I have ever had in my career,” Taimanglo said from San Diego, before he departs on Tuesday for his fight in Kansas. BJT’s most active yearly calendar has been four fights in a year every three months.

“I only took about maybe five days off after the (Fisher) fight and I’ve been on the grind ever since then. Only Sundays off.”

Though it’s new territory for Guam’s son, he’s in good hands with caged veteran coaches from San Diego’s MMA Alliance Gym.

“It’s kind of weird, but my coaches had a couple of tournament fighters so they know how to deal with this kind of situation. I’ve only had a couple of sparring sessions since the last fight, but mostly keeping the focus on the game plan going into this fight.”

That game plan, no fighter shares before the actual fight, but Taimanglo (19-4-1) said he’s done some film studies on his next opponent, 34-year-old Strikeforce veteran Justin Wilcox out of San Jose, Cal (12-5).

“Every fight is going to be different. I’m a different fighter than the guy he fought. It’s a chess game; it’s the guy who has the better moves and better hands.”

BJT said his cuts and wounds from the previous fight are heeled and he’s “ready to rock and roll next week.”

ALL COMING TOGETHER

“I put in so much sacrifice and dedication into this sport, so I feel everything will be working that night. I just have to pose my will on him.

“I’m in a position that I’m so comfortable with my career with Bellator, they’ve given me the opportunity to show that I’m a world-class fighter. I’m very happy to be part of the organization. They give me a lot of support and they’re very great to work with. It’s the best organization I’ve ever come across. That’s what you call professional. It’s all paying off. I’m not regretting any moment.”

GUAM FANS

BJT has never been to Kansas, but he’s already getting some strong support from Guam fans there.

Taimanglo and teammate Norman Parke in San Diego. Parke takes on Jon Tuck in UFC Fight Night 30 on Oct. 26 in Manchester. (courtesy photo)

Taimanglo and teammate Norman Parke in San Diego. Parke takes on Jon Tuck in UFC Fight Night 30 on Oct. 26 in Manchester. (courtesy photo)

“I don’t know anything about Kansas. I’m going there blind, but a couple of Guam people who are stationed there said they’ll be coming out to support me. It’s actually nice to hear that people who I don’t even know want to come out and support me. It makes me proud to make me do what I’m doing now. This is what it’s all about. I want to win the tournament and go further. I really want to be the world champion, not just the PXC champion.”

UFC:  TUCK VS. PARKE

It’s no secret that one of Taimanglo’s daily workout partners and teammates in San Diego is Norman Parke, Jon Tuck’s opponent in the upcoming UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester, England on Oct. 26.

So the obvious questions is, who is he rooting for?

“I’m always going to go with my boy Jon Tuck. He’s been my brother since we started this sport. Nothing is going to change my relationship with Norman or Jon. I’m excited for them and they both know it’s a professional sport. Norman is a TUF winner. I really want to see the fight. I was looking forward to it in April (that initial date was cancelled due to injury).

“I don’t go whispering in Tuck’s ear or Norman’s ear. That’s between those two. I just support both of them and it’s going to be a great fight. Jon is the undererog, going against Norman in his hometown, but I’m going to back up Jon no matter what. That’s my blood right there.

“There’s going to be fireworks. That will be Fight of the Night.”

NOTE: BJT heads to Kansas Tuesday morning. Weigh-ins can be seen live on bellator.com on Friday (Chamorro Standard time) with the fight the following day.

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