Today we continue our series surrounding the upcoming IXFA Flyweight Title Fight between Jimmy Flick and Humberto De Leon, set for April 23rd in Winnie, TX.
(Part One: Interview with Jimmy Flick – here)
Truth be told, Humberto De Leon stands at a pivotal point in his fight career. Beginning in 2008, he trail-blazed through the amateur ranks ending with a 6-1-1 record and a submission prowess that defined him as one of the top flyweight prospects in the nation.
Unfortunately for him, there aren’t many other 125 pound fighters in Texas for him to fight… a fact that has resulted in De Leon taking increasingly challenging fights against other top fighters in the professional ranks at a heavier weight. Now Humberto’s pro record is 5-4 after his last bout at Strikeforce, almost eight-months ago.
Where does that leave his career moving forward?
This upcoming title bout with Jimmy Flick at IXFA will be a defining point for his career. Good or bad, the result will begin to define Humberto. With a loss, he will be a .500 fighter with an uncertain way forwards in terms of trying to gain national prominence. With a win, he avenges a decision loss from their first matchup, beating the consensus #1 flyweight in TX and winning a title belt in the process.
Talk about pressure.
But you know what? I don’t think it bothers him. I get the impression that this young man is used to adversity by now.
Read on in this, our latest interview with Bushi Ban’s Humberto De Leon prior to his IXFA Flyweight Title Bout with Jimmy Flick.
Humberto, for fans that don’t know you just yet, introduce yourself.
I guess I consider myself a humble, very serious fighter. I don’t really like to talk that much but I like to show what I have in the cage.
What about outside the cage, how would your friends describe you?
I hope they’d say I am a funny, caring person.
Any hobbies outside of training and fighting?
I like to go running and pretty much just go anywhere fun. Really, I don’t have that much other stuff, I just like to go train.
Looking at your record, I see you’ve taken on 18 fights since you began in the sport in 2008. You can’t seem to stay away for more than 2 months at a time. Why such a frantic pace?
As an amateur I guess it was easy for me to get fights since nobody really knew me so they’d just give me fights back-to-back. I really enjoyed that. When I turned pro, it got kind of harder… As of now, my last fight was against Chad (Robo) last August in Strikeforce and since then, I haven’t had a fight until April.
That’s your longest layoff right? How does it feel to be away for so long, does it bother you?
Yeah, I don’t like it because I’m so used to training for a fight and I like competing so maybe that’s why I get… I don’t know… I don’t really like that because I like competing and testing myself against other people so it sucks but, what are you gonna do.
You went 6-1-1 as an amateur and you’re now sitting at 6-4 as a pro with a few losses to tough guys a little bigger than you. (Bedford, Robo) Do you find it hard to get fights at your natural weight? What has been your thought process as far as fighting these bigger guys?
I usually don’t mind because I just like to fight but I’m starting to mind because I don’t want my record to be horrible. That Bedford fight, they thought I was going to be able to beat him so I took it but he was real tough. Nate Garza was at 135 and that was on a one-day notice but I still took it and Chad was also 135… I don’t know, I guess it (fighting bigger opponents) is frustrating but you get used to it. There’s just not that many 125’ers in Texas.
What is your ultimate goal as a fighter. Where do you want to take your MMA career?
As far as I can. Hopefully the UFC opens a 125 weight class and hopefully I’ll be in that class for the UFC, that’d be awesome. Other than that, I’m just trying to learn as much as I can. When I’m done (fighting), I want to open my own school and teach. As for now, I want to take as many fights I can. It doesn’t matter where.
A lot of people saw your Strikeforce fight with Chad Robo as a fight that could have gone either way. A lot of people also say that you should have gotten the decision in that fight. How did you see it?
I don’t like it but it is what it is. The fight was tough. I thought I won the first round and the third round but I guess the judges didn’t see it that way. Besides, I was an underdog and everyone thought he would beat me in the first round. It went to the decision and it was given to him but I don’t mind. He’s a very good opponent. Very tough. Very talented guy.
What do you see as your strengths as a fighter? What do you think to improve on?
My strength I would say is on the ground. I think I need to improve in my standup even though some people think I’ve gotten better, I still think I need to work at it. I don’t mind standing there and trading with someone.
Your next fight was recently scheduled as a rematch between you and Jimmy Flick for the IXFA title. Are you excited to fight him again?
Oh yeah, yeah. I fought him in Bellator and… I don’t know how to say this but I guess he’s “on a high cloud” and thinks he can’t be beat. I guess he’s 2-0 and I heard him saying that I would be easy since he already beat me once. We’ll see April 23rd on that one. I think he’s just cocky but it’s alright. He can think what he wants to think.
What do you think you need to do differently to change the outcome this time around?
I wish he’d stand up but I don’t think he’ll stand up. I’d kick him one time and he’d shoot in on my legs so I doubt he’ll stand there and trade. I doubt it. He’s a wrestler and a jiu-jitsu fighter. I haven’t seen his hands or anything but I saw a little bit of video of his last fight on YouTube and his face looked pretty jacked up. I guess the guy was punching him or something… I don’t know. I respect the guy but he talks a lot of smack and I’d rather stay quiet. This time I’ll be in shape and I’ll train. Our last fight when I fought him, I don’t think I was in shape so I’ll be better prepared this time around.
Any predictions for this fight?
What’s next for you after IXFA?
I’m not sure. I was hoping to get on the April 9th card on Legacy also against Nate Garza or Frank Ortega but that didn’t happen because the card was full or something so I don’t think that will happen. After IXFA, I’m not sure but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Any last words before we get?
For the fans, thank you for being supportive. If anybody wants to sponsor me for this fight, call me or get a hold of my teachers.
Of course, I want to thank my coaches, Gil Loveless and Master Ahmed, and also my training partners Alex, Gerzan, Justin, Manny, and anyone that’s ever helped me.
I also want to say thank you to my parents because without them, I wouldn’t be doing this. I also want to say I also appreciate my beautiful girlfriend Bianca Rodriguez, who is very supportive, and also HER mom who always pushes me to be better
Last but not least… Hey Jimmy Flick, I hope you’re training hard and you come to the fight ready because I’ll definitely be!