Steven Peterson. Screenshot from YouTube interview with Sean Malone.

With Legacy FC and RFA completing their merger, rebirthing as Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA), experienced veteran Steven Peterson aims to become the first unified Bantamweight champion when he faces RFA title holder Leandro Higo.

The final Legacy Bantamweight champion Peterson holds a 14-4 record and carries a six-fight win streak. The last time Peterson was seen in the cage was last June, when at LFC 56 he defeated Manny Vasquez for the title via a fourth round rear naked choke.

“That was a tough fight for me,” said Peterson. “I was dealing with quite a few injuries coming into the fight but it was everything I expected it to be. I knew he was going to be tough. That I would have to grind it out but the longer the fight went, the more comfortable I felt.

“I kept the pressure on in the later rounds and a lot of guys can’t handle that. I felt him start to break and knew I could get the finish.”

Originally scheduled to defend his newly won Legacy FC Bantamweight title in October against Mark De La Rosa, the 26-year-old was left without a dance partner when his opponent pulled a “no-show” on fight night.

“You know, I had such a hard training camp for that fight and had my own issues with making weight,” said Peterson. “I didn’t feel great but I pulled through. For him not to show wasn’t just a letdown. It was disrespectful to myself Legacy and the fans.”

Ready to make history at LFA 1, “Ocho” has been putting in the preparation and hard work to get ready for this fight and knows against a talent like “Pitbull” Higo that he will have to be on top of his game.

“So far everything’s going well with this training camp. I’m on target with my weight with no difficulties this time and I’ve been training at Fortis MMA (in Dallas, Texas),” said Peterson.

“I feel I’m a tough match-up for Higo but when you look at how good his record is at 16-2, I know this is going to be a tough fight and he’s a very game opponent.”

With all eyes on the merger and with Legacy’s Mick Maynard now taking over matchmaking duties with the UFC, the Texas-based fighter knows that a win in this fight could book his ticket to the big time.

“After this fight, I’m just waiting for the call,” said Peterson. “I know they are interested and we will see what happens. Being in the UFC is my main goal and I feel I match-up very well with a lot of guys in the Bantamweight division.”

Talking about the UFC’s stacked Bantamweight division, one name stood above the rest as a future opponent for Peterson.

“I’ve always wanted to fight Dominick Cruz and I hope I get the opportunity before he retires,” he said. “After this fight I want to get my UFC debut and then try crack the top-10 by the end of the year.”