From Bullet Holes to Complete Fighter: Joey Ruquet Has Developed

Tonight (Jan. 19) Combate Americas DIEZ will be taking place inside El Plaza Condesa in Mexico City. Featherweight Joey Ruquet will do battle with Jose Ceja.

Ruquet told MMANews.com that he’s been hard at work in preparation for Ceja. While he understands many fighters say they are having the best training camp ever, he insists he believes he has made some drastic improvements:

“Honestly, this one man, I feel like a completely different fighter. I’ve dedicated more time into training. I’ve been more focused, more hungry. I just want it so bad, I want it more than I ever have and I’ve been in quite a few fights.”

In terms of what that means, “El Cazador” said he has improved in all facets of the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).

“Everything. I’ve developed as a complete fighter. It’s the ground, my stand-up, my cardio, my mental state, just all around it’s been better. My jiu-jitsu, my wrestling, my Dutch kickboxing. You know, I focused [on] everything a hundred percent, gave it all a hundred percent.”

Ruquet started off his professional career at 2-0. His debut at Combate Americas didn’t go his way, but the 145-pounder said the bout with Gustavo Lopez occurred at a dark time in his life.

“Man I would love to get that fight back. That was a time in my life where I just wasn’t me and I should’ve never taken that fight. I took it because I was desperate, I was homeless, need to pay bills and I just threw the fight. I didn’t fight.”

Tattoos can often be misconstrued as ink fighters put on their bodies to look tough. A closer look will show that there is a significant amount more to it.

“I have meanings for my tattoos. Some I’m not proud of, some I am. The bullet holes just ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And it was kind of a mixture of the same, being in the right and wrong place. I was behind a steel door and someone starting shooting guns and I had ran at the moment. When I went back later on those bullet holes, the sun was shining through the door where if I had still been behind there, that’s where it would’ve hit me.”

Combate Americas DIEZ will air live on UFC Fight Pass at 9 p.m. ET.