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BYB Heavyweight Champ Ike Villanueva Ready to ‘Kill Those Influencers’ After First Title Defense

ike villanueva
Credit: BYB

As crossover combat sports events become more common, Ike Villanueva is ready to take part. But ahead of his first defense of the BYB heavyweight title, “Hurricane Ike” spoke very bluntly about why he may be unable to participate in the trend.

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“There’ve been some calls. Misfits, it’s not going to happen because I’d kill those influencers over there and they kind of know it,” he told Ringside Intel in an exclusive chat. Ike Villanueva also revealed his failed attempts to get booked on last weekend’s Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal boxing card. 

“I was really trying to get on the Masvidal-Diaz undercard. I was like ‘find whoever.’ Then again, with my record guys aren’t going to take it. I’m a dangerous fighter. So hopefully we can get a guy coming out of the UFC that we can match up with. I’d love to put on a great show. And we’ll see what happens. The offers are coming in. If I take care of business this fight, it’s only going to get bigger”

Even without competing in that or similar events, Ike Villanueva has already established himself as one of the more successful crossover combat athletes. After going 1-5 in the UFC, he hit his stride in bare-knuckle boxing with a 3-0 record and BYB’s heavyweight strap. 

Villanueva credits the change in fortune to abandoning the efforts towards closing the gaps in his skill set.

“When I was in MMA, I couldn’t focus on my fight. I really had to do a lot of stuff. I had to do the wrestling, the jiu-jitsu, the Muay Thai. I  really couldn’t just focus on my boxing. That’s what kind of slowed me down. Now that we’re here, that’s all I’m focused on…I had to practice my weaknesses. That’s what it was.”

Ike Villanueva Gustavo Talk

ike villanueva
Credit: BYB

Even with thoughts of testing new waters, the Houston native insists that his attention is strictly devoted to Gustavo Trujillo, the “Cuban Assassin” who won by first-round knockout in his BYB debut this past April, especially after hearing some unflattering remarks from his opponent.

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“Gustavo said the opponents he fought were way better than me and way better than my opponents…You’re going to give me my respect or I’m going to take it. I’m going to serve his ass up some humble pie,” he said.

Even Trujillo boasts an undefeated record in both boxing with or without gloves, the “BYB Landlord” describes the Cuban’s style as “predictable” and “elementary” and believes his own pedigree in the sweet science shouldn’t be overlooked. 

“I’ve been boxing too long. My first fight was against Issa Akberbayev, a four-time Olympian. I took it on short notice when everybody was scared to fight him. I took him the distance. Then I fought Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on short notice. I was an MMA fighter and they called me because everybody was scared. I said ‘Let’s do it.’”

Ike Villanueva and Gustavo Trujillo meet in the main event of BYB 28: Bourbon Street Brawl. The event takes place this Saturday in New Orleans, LA. It will air on Fuse.

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Ant Walker is a native of the Washington DC area that now lives in Los Angeles. He has been... More about Anthony Walker

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