Officially making his pro debut in 1997 Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello has had a long career as a professional fighter. He has fought in the top promotions including the UFC, Strikeforce, Affliction, Bellator, King of the Cage and most recently Legacy FC. In his 48 professional fights he has fought a who’s who of top level opponents. He’s shared the cage with guys like Alistair Overeem, Evan Tanner, Dan Severn, Gary Goodridge, James McSweeney, Tim Sylvia and Stefan Struve.
Since his second stint in the UFC Buentello has gone 6-3 and is riding a 4 fight win streak into his next Legacy FC bout on March 21 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But it won’t be the same Buentello you see walking to the cage that night. Instead you’ll see a lean and trimmed down version with a resurrected career at light heavy weight. I was able to talk to him before a local show about a week ago and asked about dropping down to light heavy. This will be his second outing at 205 and according to him making weight will be a lot easier then the first time around.
The first time I got to 229 and then that week I had to cut the weight. This time I’m at 220 and we’re about two weeks out so I have a week left of actual training so making weight won’t be an issue
This Friday Buentello meets promotional newcomer Myron Dennis for the vacant 205 lbs title. Dennis is a Bellator vet as but has spent most of his career fight for the XFL and is riding a two fight win streak of his own. This fight has several levels of importance for Buentello, aside from the title it could be his ticket back to the big show. At a time when the UFC’s light heavyweight division is in need of contenders Buentello might fit the bill.
Now that this TRT stuff is gone that might affect some of the guys in the division and I think I can fill the empty holes it’s leaving really quickly. I never took TRT so I’m not even worried about it
At 40 years old Buentello has no plans to slow down, he’s determined to make it back to the UFC and be a contender at 205. When asked how much longer he was planning on fighting, with a grin he answered
Till the wheels fall off, I want to make it back to the UFC I’m on a four fight win streak right now I got one more coming up. They already told me get one more and it might get you back in the show. So that’s the whole thing, I want to get back in the UFC, show them that I still have the will to fight
There’s a lot riding on Friday’s fight at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Oklahoma, with a win The Head Hunter will claim another title and possibly the opportunity to make it back to the UFC. The tough, hard hitting Buentello could be a familiar face at a new weight class and help invigorate the division. Also on the card is TUF winner Jonathan Brookins as well as Leonard Garcia who is fighting his way back to the big show as well.
Thanks again to Paul Buentello for taking the time to talk to me about his upcoming title fight and his future in the sport. Follow me on twitter @jlorenty and the website @cagepagesfs. You can also follow Paul himself @Paulbuentello.