After a strong start to 2017 that saw him win his first two bouts, heavyweight Greg Rebello hit a bit of a roadblock in his most recent bout.
Against Danyelle Williams in January and Kevin Sears in May for the CES promotions, Rebello was able to pick up back-to-back finishes. But it’s his loss versus Azunna Anyanwu at Dana White’s Contender Series in July that halted Robello’s momentum.
“I started out with Danyelle Williams in January, which obviously went really well,” Rebello told MMAWeekly.com. “He was a really tough dude. I was probably one of the only guys to finish him in a round. Against Kevin Sears I was able to show more of my wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu, which is good, though I prefer to stand up.
“The last fight with Azunna was the biggest fight of my career, which I lost. It was going well. I was competing. It was a good fight. It was an even fight until I got caught. You can’t hang your head on that. It’s the heavyweight division and whoever lands the first big punch kind of wins the fight.”
Knowing a fight can end at any instant in the heavyweight division had Rebello just making minor adjustments after the Anyanwu fight rather than overhauling his game.
“I know exactly what I did wrong, what mistake I made,” said Rebello. “I got too comfortable landing shots out there, and then he kind of landed the big shot. It was a minor adjustment. It’s fighting – it’s heavyweights – everyone has knockout power. You make a mistake against a heavyweight and you’re going to sleep.”
Rebello (22-8) will look to rebound against Derrick Brown (7-4) in the heavyweight main event of CES 47 on Friday in Lincoln, R.I.
“He’s a tough guy and is an athletic dude,” Rebello said of Brown. “He has an elusive style, so I can see how he can give guys fits, but for me it’s just another day at the office. For me it’s just fighting like I always do, and go out there and let it rip. I’ll catch him with something and get my hand raised.”
Having stumbled in his last fight, Rebello wants to get back on the winning track and work his way towards getting another shot at the top level of MMA.
“I’m 35, but I train smart and don’t do anything stupid, so I can fight for as long as I wanted to,” said Rebello. “I obviously can’t fight forever, but I’d like to take it one step at a time, get a few wins together and get on the Contender Series again.
“To get the attention of the UFC I’m going to have to win four or five in a row. If I can get a couple exciting finishes, get back on the Contender Series that would be my goal.”