Marlon Sandro returns to the Bellator cage against WEC veteran Chris Horodecki on Friday night and he wants to bring the knockouts back from his old Sengoku days.
Sandro became the Sengoku featherweight champion in 2010 with a 38-second TKO win. The Nova Uniao veteran ended four of his seven Sengoku fights with first-round knockouts, but hasn’t finished a fight like that since.
The Brazilian racked up a 7-3-1 record since signing with Bellator in 2011, and he feels that facing a dangerous opponent in Horodecki is the perfect opportunity to be back to the top.
"I’m more focused now," Sandro told MMAFighting.com, "and I’m anxious to get in there and do a great fight.
"I’m working hard to get back to my roots and bring the knockouts back. God willing, I will do well in this fight and I will do a great fight again. He’s a kickboxer, so he’s very dangerous in the stand up game. I’m aware of that, so I won’t let him play his game. I will make sure I finish him by knockout or submission."
Sandro wants the stoppage win to avoid disappointing decisions like in his last bout, when he returned to Pancrase in a draw against Yojiro Uchimura, last September.
"I always fight for the finish, but it unfortunately happened this time," he said. "I won’t let the fight go to the judges ever again."
"I won the fight but I was fighting in his country, so they scored it a draw," "The Gladiator" continued. "It was unfair. I didn’t fight well because I was coming off a TKO loss (to Frodo Khasbulaev) and I was holding back, but I know that I won the fight and they scored it a draw."
The last time Sandro had his hands raised after a fight was Feb. 7, 2013, in a majority decision victory over Akop Stepanyan. At 37, Sandro changed his physical training to perform better inside the cage.
"I didn’t change much, to be honest. I’m training the same things, but more intense now," he said. "The only thing I changed was my physical training, so I’m doing better in training now."