Today UFC heavyweight Paul Buentello, reported that although he is still healing from a badly injured right hand, he has not intention of retiring any time soon, and is just waiting to hear from the UFC.
While he finishes recouping, Buentello plans on helping Rashad Evans train for his upcoming bout with Rampage Jackson. He is also trying to stay in shape and be ready for whenever he gets the UFC’s call to fight.
Although upset about losing to Cheick Kongo recently and UFC:Versus 1, he wants to keep looking towards the future with a positive attitude. Once I quit loving the sport, I can walk away,” Buentello said. “But I just love it too much. I love fighting. I love putting my hands on people.”
A few days after the fight, Buentello posted a picture of his badly swollen right hand and stated that doctors found a “three-point dislocation”.
Even though the injury occurred in the first round, Buentello continued to stick it out until round three, where he was forced to submit due to pain. Paul still feels unsure if he did the right thing by fighting all three rounds, even though his hand was in bad shape.
“It mentally drained me,” Buentello said. “I didn’t even know if I could hit [Kongo]. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking trying to push the fight through that part. My finger rotated so far back into my glove, and I couldn’t pull it out. I tried to make a fist, and thought, ‘What the hell’s wrong with my hand?'”
After this latest mishap, Buentello is starting to wonder if maybe his career may be doomed.
Every time I get a good fight that’s going to put me on the map again, something always happens,” Buentello said. “Cheick Kongo was a match made in heaven. It should have been an easy deal. He had a great game plan, and I jacked up my hand, and I couldn’t hit him no more.”
But his anger and frustration is what drives Paul to continue his fight in the MMA world.
“I shouldn’t have lost that fight, plain and simple,” Buentello said. “Cheick Kongo had no reason to beat me. That’s pretty frustrating. I’m not going to walk away from the sport when somebody like Kongo who’s not even a high-school wrestler (is) holding me down and I can’t get back up. All he wanted to do was win. He didn’t want to put on a show. He didn’t want to fight. I’m not going to walk away that way.”
But Buentello is now realizing he has update his fighting style. Not known for his ground game, Paul feels that most of his opponents are taking advantage of that and it’s time for a change, regardless if he wants to or not.
“Nobody thinks I’m going to take them down; all they’ve got to do is stay on the outside, take me down, and shut everything down,” he said. “I’m going to have to evolve. I’ve got that high Mexican ego, and I don’t want to take anyone down, and live the life of ‘The Headhunter,’ and it’s just not working any more,” Buentello said.
Unfortunately though, trainer Trevor Whittman feels unsure whether Paul’s wrestling can ever be up to par against other heavyweights.
“Honestly, from my perspective – and I try to keep it as real as I can because I love Paul, and I think he’s a great fighter – I think he’s got to have more dimensions at this high level of the game,” Whittman stated recently.
But with a recent personal conversation between Buentello and Whittman, they both agreed retirement just wasn’t an option at this point.
“I think it was one of those conversations between a fighter and trainer that shouldn’t leave the locker room no matter what the conversation was about,” Buentello said. “But it definitely wasn’t about quitting or retiring.”