If John DeVall wins his mixed martial arts match against Enrique “Manny” Vasquez this weekend at WinnaVegas Casino & Resort, he may have a chance to compete for the world championship.

A world championship match is on the horizon so long as Sioux City mixed martial artist John DeVall manages to defeat Manny Vasquez during a King of the Cage bout this weekend at WinnaVegas Casino & Resort.

“The horizon looks very bright,” said DeVall, “but I've got to focus on the here and now. I can’t drop the ball on this kid.”

The coming match will be DeVall’s second of three scheduled King of the Cage fights. His previous win, a co-main event, was against Pedro Velasco. The original opponent, however, was supposed to be Vasquez, who fell ill just before the fight.

“This time he’s healthy and ready,” said DeVall. “He was supposed to fight in between this but that whole card fell out, everybody got sick and caught the flu. They canceled the whole show. So he has not fought.”

That's both good and bad for him, DeVall added. Vasquez may be a little rusty but at the same time he has been training hard; he’s young and hungry for a win.

“I know he comes from a strong grappling camp and he has good boxing (skills),” said DeVall. “I’m going to win however I can.”

DeVall already looks the part, sporting his signature mohawk and beard. He has also lost about 36 pounds to meet the 135-pound flyweight division limit. He started his training about nine weeks prior to the fight, weighing in at just over 170 pounds.

He cut down his portion sizes and began training at his gym to meet weight. He and one of his fellow students from DeVall MMA traveled all the way to Denver to train underneath three black belts.

And now the pressure is on as the DeVall and Vasquez match will be the main event for King of the Cage.

“This will be my first main event on a televised show like this, which is really cool,” DeVall said. “There are other pros fighting on the card [as well as] amateurs. Siouxland’s best will be performing and I’m extremely excited about it.”

Shaine Moffitt, Danny Black, Joseph Woods, Chris Galinsky, Solveigh Skarhus and many other fighters will be representing Siouxland during the King of the Cage event.

As a little more added pressure, DeVall and some of the other King of the Cage fighters were presented on billboards around the area. It caught DeVall off guard.

“It took me a minute,” he said. “I didn’t even know they did that. People were sending me pictures like, ‘Man you’re famous.’ And I was like, ‘I can dig that.’”

With only a few more days until DeVall steps into the cage, he has decided to focus on cardio, technique and making weight.

DeVall is currently ranked 137th in the world.

“If I win this time I’ll probably jump up another five or 10 spots,” he said. “I’m slowly creeping up to the top 100 in the world rankings. I just gotta stay humble and thankful. I’m lucky and blessed.”

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Weekender reporter

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