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NO REST FOR BABY JOE

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By Patrick Lujan

Not much time to celebrate a big victory – if at all.

Baby Joe Taimanglo delivers one of many uppercuts to Andrew Fisher in Bellator 99. (screenshot of Spike TV)

Baby Joe Taimanglo delivers one of many uppercuts to Andrew Fisher in Bellator 99. (screenshot of Spike TV)

Baby Joe Taimanglo is already back in training mode after his big unanimous decision win over Andrew Fisher in Bellator 99 last weekend in Temecula, California. But with the win comes a quick turnaround in preparation for the semifinals of the promotion’s featherweight tournament on Oct. 11 in Wichita, Kansas against Justin Wilcox in Bellator 103.

“I’m not partying out until the end of the tournament,” Taimanglo told GSPN. “I’m back in the gym again and I’m going to work harder and push even harder for the next fight.”

Family members from Las Vegas and Guamanians from around Temecula showed huge support for the island’s top featherweight in his win over a bigger opponent from England.

“I get training partners (that big) all the time. I fought a couple of guys at 6 foot so height is not a problem,” said the 5-foot-4 fighter. “I fight the way I want to fight it, not the way they want to fight it.”

BJT, with a high cage IQ, used his stand-up game to walk through with a unanimous decision victory, mostly using a vicious uppercut to apply punishment to his foe.

“It’s part of my stand-up game,” he said about his uppercut weapon. “He head-butted me like three times in the first round, so I found out the uppercut was landing when his head came forward. The head butts kind of bothered my vision in the second and third rounds.

“I always look forward to finish the fight. I had him rocked in the first round, and I tried to mix jiu-jitsu in the first round, but that was a mistake. I should’ve used my hands.”

Despite making solid contact with his overhand rights and uppercuts, Taimanglo credits Fisher for staying in the fight.

“Every hit that I landed, I put a stamp on those punches. Smarter fighters will recover and circle out, but I know I caught him a lot of times during the fight. It showed how big of a heart he has not to go down because I know I got him a bunch of times.”

 Wants to Make History

BJT in victory with referee Big John McCarthy on hand. (screenshot of Spike TV)

BJT in victory with referee Big John McCarthy on hand. (screenshot of Spike TV)

Already competing at an elite level, Taimanglo wants to make history for himself and for Guam. With just two more wins, he will be a world champion in such a high-level of competition such as Bellator.

“I’m here to win the 145-lb tournament. It will be one of the biggest sports accomplishment for an athlete from Guam. I want to make history for myself and for my island. It’s very overwhelming and I’m trying to stay humble because I still have two more fights.”

Taimanglo would like to thank his sponsors for his last fight in Bellator 99: Docomo Pacific, Proa Restaurants, Elegant Reflections, Sokel Industries, Mini Camachili Tree Store and GSPN.

NOTE: Expected on the same fight card on Bellator 103 is former PXC fighter J.J. Ambrose, who is slated to fight David Rickels in a lightweight matchup in the Kansas Star Casino.

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