Atlantic City mixed martial arts fighter Cesar Balmaceda is hoping to start a new winning streak Friday night.
He will try to bounce back from his first professional loss three months ago in a three-round bout against Brazilian Niklas Motta as the main event of Cage Fury Fighting Championships 77 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Balmaceda (6-1), a 2013 Atlantic City High School graduate, lost via first-round submission (rear-naked choke) to Philadelphia’s Sidney Outlaw at Hard Rock on May 17. He had been forced to give up his CFFC interim lightweight title a day earlier when he weighed in at 160 pounds, five pounds over the lightweight limit.
“I got over the loss pretty quick,” Balmaceda said Thursday in a phone interview. “As soon as the fight was over, I spoke with (CFFC owner) Rob Haydak and asked him to find me another fight.”
Friday’s fight at Hard Rock Live Etess Arena is at a catchweight of 160 pounds. Balmaceda weighed in at 159.6 pounds Thursday to Motta’s 158.2.
Motta (9-3), 26, is also coming of a loss. He suffered a first-round TKO defeat against Robert Hale on Nov. 30, 2018 at an 864 Fighting Championship event in Duluth, Georgia.
“I know he’s considered a dangerous striker, so I’m expecting us to be standing up the whole time,” Balmaceda said. “That’s fine with me because standup is my strength.”
Balmaceda and Motta have one common opponent in Joe Solecki. Balmaceda handed Solecki his first loss with a unanimous decision in Philadelphia on May 20, 2017. Motta knocked him out in the third round July 21, 2018, in Greenville, South Carolina.
Despite the defeats, Solecki recently earned a contract with the UFC by winning its “Contender Series” last month.
Another victory or two and Balmaceda, who currently drives a UPS truck when he’s not training, could realize his dream of making it to the UFC.
“That’s the goal,” he said. “That’s why I never take any easy fights. I think fighting tough (opponents) is the best way for me to get to the next level.”