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Schneider to defend light heavyweight crown tonight

After months of delays and a couple of opponent changes, amateur mixed martial arts fighter Brandon Schneider says he is ready to defend his light heavyweight title today. The MMA event is through Tuff-N-Uff and will be at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. Action starts at 7 p.m.

Although the fight is long in coming, the 205-pound Pahrump resident said this delay really has not hampered his training.

“This has been one of my best training camps yet for a fight,” he said while tossing down his breakfast at Mom’s Diner. “I have been eating and keeping up my weight. Like this food here. People see what I eat and shake their heads but I do burn a lot of this off. I’ve also got to make sure I don’t go out and drink too much and party a lot.”

He goes up against Lee Cordova, the challenger, who has a 1-2 record. Schneider is coming off a two-win streak and has an overall record of 3-3.

Schneider, who last fought in May and had a September bout canceled, has seen his training facility Mix It Up Academy close three months ago. The owner, Robert Wilson, was his main grappling coach. That all went out the window in October. Wilson told Schneider he had to change things and go to Las Vegas.

Wilson will be there in his corner tonight, but it just meant that Schneider had to find a new training gym.

He found three gyms, Syndicate, Fight Capital and Cobra Kai, all in Las Vegas.

This must have been hard for a fighter to make these changes just before a big fight. Fighters are known to like things done a certain way.

Schneider though said the changes were welcomed and they helped him out a lot.

“I am only a little bit superstitious,” Schneider said. “I have the same guy wrap my hands before the fight, Robby Rieger, and I want to be the red corner, but that is about it. I feel I got a great cardio workout before and I was able to spar with a lot of experienced fighters. This time Jonathan Balgame did all my standup at Fight Capital gym. He did everything to make sure that I will be able to keep away from the overhand right of Cordova.”

People who watched Schneider’s last fight remember how sluggish he was in the third round.

Schneider said he worked on that more than ever.

“Cordova better not be thinking about outlasting me to the third round,” Schneider said. “He needs to think about just surviving the first two rounds. He will have to give it back.”

When asked about his strategy, the fighter replied, “This guy is standing in my way. If I can take him out early, then fine. I also need to think of my future and showcasing what I’ve got. There will be a lot of MMA scouts out in the seats.”

Another difference that the fighter addressed was the length of his training camp.

He said this was the first time his camp went all the way to the fight. Normally, his camp would end a week before the fight. His last day was two days ago.

“I am pretty sure the longer camp will help me with my cardio,” he said.

Schneider took two weeks off for this fight. He weighed in on Thursday and stayed in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.

“I will be thinking about nothing but the fight on Friday and what’s going to happen,” Schneider said. “There is nothing else I can think of. I will be thinking of keeping my hands up. I have come too far and trained too hard to lose this fight. I will not lose.”

According to Schneider there will be 12-13 fighters fighting on Friday night. Schneider is the main event and therefore is the last.

The fight is sold out but will be streamed live from the following establishments in Pahrump: The Bounty Hunter Bar, Vince Neil’s Tatuado, Paddy’s Pub and the Hubb.

-Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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