They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but nothing could be further from the truth for Colorado’s Joe Guerrero.
Guerrero feels just as much at home training for a mixed martial arts bout at Grudge Training Center in Denver as he does training for his kickboxing debut with GLORY World Series.
Guerrero will compete in his first kickboxing match at GLORY 24 on Oct. 9 in Denver. This fight has been a long time coming for the lifelong kickboxing fan.
“I watched kickboxing all the time growing up,” Guerrero told Combat Press. “This is part of my overall experience in MMA and [I’m] taking the necessary steps to be more well rounded when I turn pro.”
Guerrero, who still competes as an amateur in MMA, counts former UFC competitor and current trainer Duane “Bang” Ludwig as one of his heroes. Guerrero has trained at Grudge for the last three and a half years and feels right at home in the gym’s “family atmosphere,” he said.
“I was a wrestler all my life, so I already came in with the work ethic,” Guerrero said. “They’re in it for each other here, and if they see someone who wants to work hard, they will work with them.”
Guerrero is coming off a split-decision loss in his last RFA fight against A.J. Robb. He thought he did enough to win, but two of the judges felt otherwise.
“I wanted to outwork him, but in the third round I relaxed a little bit and it bit me in the ass,” Guerrero said. “It taught me to not lighten up. I have to always go forward and go for the finish.”
Guerrero has seen the RFA grow during his six fights with the promotion.
“[It’s a] blessing to be so young and have that experience and that stage,” he said.
Guerrero plans to bring that experience with him to his kickboxing debut with GLORY on Oct. 9. He’s set to face Pacific Warrior MMA Fight Team’s Robert Fraterelli.
“I’m not underestimating my opponent at all,” Guerrero said. “He’s a MMA fighter and a tough guy — everyone in this sport is a tough guy. I’ve always wanted to just stand and bang with someone, and, in my mind, I’m fighting the best in the world.”