Jornel Lugo ready to take care of business in Hartford

Exciting Connecticut prospect Jornel Lugo is back in action at CES 58 on Sept. 7 in Hartford. Before he tries to improve to 2-0 against Harris Bonfiglio (2-0), he checked in with FightBook MMA.

How did you find MMA to begin with?

I always fought, was always roughhousing as a kid. When I was 13 I saw the movie “Never Back Down,” and I was hooked (laughed). I joined a gym in Waterbury with Jesse Kosakowski, started competing, and it took off from there.

Back then did you see yourself fighting as a professional?

I didn’t really have any goals when I started. Three or four months into training, I won my first tournament for NAGA at Mohegan Sun and, later on that day we watched some professional fights. I easily won the tournament, and I decided at 14 that that’s what I wanted to do with my life.

How do you feel about what you’ve accomplished so far?

Underwhelmed, probably. I’ve had a bunch of amateur fights, but I’ve always felt that I’ve been moving a little slow. That was the plan, though, so I wouldn’t have any holes in my game as a professional, but now I’ve gotta get it in. Now that I’m a professional, I can’t waste any time — I’m already 23 years old.

How excited are you to get back in the cage?

Super excited. I’m pumped. I’ve been here before, and I’m ready to do it again. I know how to handle my emotions and everything that comes with it. I’m just ready to go in there and get the job done.

What are your goals as a fighter?

I want to leave a body of work behind. I want to look back fondly one day at all my fights and the technique I displayed, and be able to pass that on and teach and inspire the next generation. I want to leave a mark on MMA and be looked at as one of the best.

Do you think a CES belt is in your future?

I hope so, I’d love that. But it all depends on how I go out there and perform. If I don’t perform like I know I can, I won’t advance in my career and I won’t get those kinds of opportunities. I’ve just gotta go in there and get the job done every time I fight.

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