Efren Escareno

Unbeaten Efren Escareno likes to scrap

Getting into a scrap is another day in the office for Efren Escareno.

Technique is important to the unbeaten bantamweight, but he can not help himself from scrapping. It’s instinct.

“It’s important to be technical, but at the end of the day, it’s a fight and sometimes you just have to scrap it,” Escareno said. 

“It kind of just came naturally to me.”

His approach is clearly working, being undefeated in both of his professional bouts. Escareno is a punches-in-bunches type of fighter, backed by a frequent takedowns with high endurance.

He completed all three rounds in both of his bouts under the Ring of Combat [ROC] banner thus far. The 25-year-old came away with a unanimous-decision win against Matthew Maldonado in his professional debut. 

Escareno came close to finishing Maldonado in the second round with punches, but came away with the judges’ nod instead at ROC 69 on Sept. 13, 2019. Escareno took down the jiu-jitsu black belt and even took his opponent’s back in the end of the second. 

Whether he gave into Maldonado’s game or made Maldonado fight his fight, Escareno proved to be the better man that night.

“In my head I was like, ‘Throw the punches,’ but I was also in my head like ‘Don’t burn yourself out just yet,’” Escareno said. “Depending on the opponent, if I’m fighting a wrestler, I’ll work on my takedown defense. If I’m fighting a striker, I’ll work a lot of takedowns. If they want to prepare for me, they are going to have to work really hard because I prepare my ass off every day.”

The takedown

Escareno’s cardio paid off in a split decision win against Danny Ramirez at ROC 71 on Feb. 21. Following a similar approach to his Maldonado fight, “The Mexicutioner” completed seven of his 11 takedown attempts.

He earned four takedowns in the third round alone, earning the edge late in the fight.

“If I didn’t have the endurance I have, I don’t think I would have won that fight,” Escareno said. 

Training out of Lionheart MMA in Bordentown, New Jersey and Dante Rivera BJJ Academy in Freehold, New Jersey, Escareno and his coaches are all trying to polish his game. Escareno is working on his technical skills, but at the same time, he loves to scrap.

Escareno is still without a finish in his professional career, but at the end of the day, he’s unbeaten. His style is paying off

“I was very upset I didn’t finish, but my last two opponents were actually pretty tough fighters,” Escareno said. I was able to squeeze out decisions and I’m proud of that.”

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Connor Northrup
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.