Tommy Espinosa wishes he waited before making his professional debut on Feb. 24, 2017.
Unable to find an opponent at his natural weight class of 125 lbs., the 24-year-old entered the cage to face bantamweight Phil Caracappa at Ring of Combat 58. After three rounds, Espinosa (2-1 MMA, 1-0 MMMA) lost by a unanimous decision.
“I was eager to fight as a professional, since it was hard for me to find fights as a amateur,” Espinosa said. ” Now that I’m back, I’m sticking to my weight class of 125 lbs.”
Since then, Espinosa continues to book fights. Less than two months after losing to Caracappa, Epsinosa met fellow flyweight Gregory Saumenig at Maverick MMA 1 on April 7.
In the promotion’s inaugural event, Espinosa put away Saumenig by TKO in the opening round.
On July 1, Espinosa will return the Maverick MMA cage to take on Cristian Rodriguez (3-1 MMA, 3-1 MMMA) at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He is one of three fighters who are competing on the Maverick MMA 2 card and already competed at Maverick MMA 1.
He joins Scott Heckman and Ricky Nuno.
Espinosa is looking to make a home in Maverick MMA. With a win on July 1, the Oxford, New Jersey native expects a title shot.
“I’m hoping to have one (title shot) after I win this fight,” Espinosa said. “It would be great to be Maverick MMA first flyweight champ.”
Along with winning the strap, Espinosa plans to compete 6-8 times in 2017. with already two fights completed and one planned in July, he is looking to compete at least four times in the next six months following his bout with Rodriguez.
“My mind set is to continue winning and continue fighting as often as I have been,” Espinosa said. “I’m hungry, I live for this.”
After losing to Caracappa, Espinosa continued his training the following day at Pure Mixed Martial Arts in Rockaway, New Jersey. Espinosa said he wanted to move on from the defeat and focus on what he did wrong.
With his rebound victory against Saumenig and then a first-round TKO finish over Christian Medina at Dead Serious Pro MMA 1 on May 13, Espinosa positioned himself to start a serious run in the flyweight division.
Espinosa is unbeaten as a professional at 125 lbs. and it is where he plans to stay.
“It’s already my home. I’m comfortable here,” Espinosa said. “I also plan to continue fighting here and start capturing titles. This is where I feel the strongest.”
By Connor Northrup