Ep. #36 – Vince Morales

Vince Morales is a mixed martial artist who competes in the UFC bantamweight division. He was picked up by the promotion shortly after his performance on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, and has fought four times for the promotion.


Vince Morales: How cool I was a leg doing both of them are they’ve seen better days yeah I felt like it was you’re gon na feel it. I think for the wait, oh for sure I can walk though so I’m good, we just got back in the store, gave it a little bit of shine. Get some blood flow in there still swollen there as it swollen up a little more yeah, both of them bolted and pretty swollen how’d. It feel. Overall, I got like obviously in the fight I mean, but like the day after was it worse. Is it worse now than it was like? I think, right now, it’s worse than it was yesterday. I woke up today and just after sleeping all night, it was just stiff and yeah. I was just hurting, but the thing that’s more bothersome than that, like a like. The first punch that Gutierrez landed like fractured my orbital, like 10 seconds into the fight, and I was always seeing double the entire time Wow. I think I, like a lot of people, missed that. Obviously the delay kicks for the things that stood out. I guess, but in a good job covering it cuz, I had no idea so yeah. It’S just kind of I got a decent poker face for my legs gave out, but, like I got a decent poker face, um III swear. I thought I thought like he could tell that. I wasn’t seen right it looked like I was like I had a feeling in my I was like hanging and I was like looking at him from a different level. Just as everything was, there was two of them and they were just staggered. It was kind of crazy yeah, yeah man couldn’t figure out my distance or anything from there, and then I couldn’t get that he. He did a great job, not letting me breed so that I could like even gather myself and try to correct things like he was just on me with those kicks on me with those kicks overall. How do you feel like because you’ve been traveling before right? You went in cornered, uh, Ricky, Simone and Jacksonville. How did you you do you feel like the travel back and forth and and everything going on with a pandemic? Do you think that had anything to do with your performance? Do you think that that could have been a difference and looking back? Is it something that would have if you could go back? Would you have still taken the fight? I know me and I am I’d still be taking the fight I just I just know. I am um, I think, maybe if maybe without all the traveling I could, I could have been better prepared, but ten days notice, there’s only so much that can be done. So I think my my preparedness was it was subpar. I realized that now I first put the notice I mean I thought I thought we’d done enough, that I could actually I’d be able to figure some things out and I was just a step behind every time. Unfortunately. Well, what advice? I guess would you give for fighters who are considering like not taking a fight or taking a fight, a lot of the fighters? I spoke to or like yeah I’ll jump on that and each other, without even really considering the fact. They don’t have a full training, camp, etc, etc. Well, so, if they’re any, if they’re anything like me like I’m, always training regardless, so it to get in fights shape, it generally doesn’t take much but fight shape and fully prepared for these elite level athletes. This is something different and it’s something I’m I’m realizing because uh I’m kind of been known to take fights on short notice. So that’s that’s kind of my thing like I was just yeah sure I’m good to go whenever at nine and five now I realize that’s kind of costing me what would look like a great professional career or at least at least on paper anyways. So I don’t know it’s got ta, make sure I’m better prepared and a full camp, I’m probably gon na – be the best way to do that. But everybody knows themselves as well like I was. I was probably more confident going into this fight. Then then, a few of my other fights I just I felt great, but everything training wise, felt great and everything um we got in there and I looked over and I saw how much he rehydrated since weigh-ins I was like I missed. I missed finding at 145 for like three seconds and then I seen him and I was like yeah. I forgot how much that’s not fun yeah, I mean, like you, said, nine and five, which, which is a good record overall one in three in the UFC. Where do you think that leaves you, I mean obviously you’re you’re in a division that doesn’t have as many fighters? So it’s not like the lightweight division, where one in three record is costly. What is next, obviously, I’m sure you want to stay in the UFC. Is there a name that comes to mind or anything like that? Unfortunately, I can’t think of anybody like directly that that I could actually see myself fighting. I was always look at the guys higher up, because those are the guys I want to fight that’s what I want to be prepared for. I don’t know yet like um, when hey I’m back now. I am, though, because uh I want to get back in there as soon as possible. That’S it’s just that’s just who I am but um yeah, I’m gon na take a step, make sure I filled the right holes and, like make sure I’m better prepared like this. Was this is one time I can, I can for sure say I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was so do you have a timeline on when you can return to train? I’M obviously, like you said, you’re struggling to walk the legs are hurting. Do you have a ideally I’m sure you’d want to be back in there yesterday yeah I’ve already telling people like that? That’S I want to get back in the gym. I want to Train like I wanted like. I want to start filling these holes. I wanted to start start that process. I don’t know yet. I I’ve got a. I got a I appointment tomorrow to get to see if they need to go forward with surgery, I’m still seeing double right now, so it’s kind of yeah frustrating um yeah. So I got that appointment and then I got ta go get just some just embarrassed, regular physical therapy on my legs for the next week or so, and then hopefully I get an idea, I’m still in between looking for, like a real spot, I want to call Home that’s another thing. I was kind of like when all this Cobain pandemic stuff started. I I had just barely stopped training with the with Tony Franklin, so I was. I hadn’t hadn’t really had a chance to find a new home. Yet so that’s one reason I was over in Portland. Thankfully I love those guys over HTTP port hland, that’s a Fabiano. She sure knows the man really. I really respect that guy. I can’t wait to go back over there. Actually, what’s the what’s the state of pandemic, there is everybody back in gym, or is it just like limited? It was pretty limited, like Ricky Simone, he kind of had a special deal working out where he could go when he needed to because he had a fight and stuff so, but it was far from the full gym so yeah I don’t. I don’t know they’re talking about everything should be moving forward. Everything should start by turning to normal for them as far as the gym as far as the gym goes so, hopefully soon. I want to make my way back over there and say thanks to everybody, when you look at I mean, obviously it was an empty arena and for us fans, it was kind of it was weird at times, especially in between you’ve, obviously fought in an empty arena Before when you fought with a contender series, is it? Is it different like well between rounds? Obviously you don’t hear anything, but when you’re actually fighting is, does that play a factor in the way you perform? I think so, just a little bit the cool part about it being an empty arena. I think you really get to see it’s just you in there, like I’m somebody who kind of feeds off the crowd. I, like the noise I like when people are screaming whether or not it’s good or bad, like I’m. Just that’s always been like a reward for me, and so without it. I definitely don’t like it but uh. I know it’s got its pros and cons. It’S awesome that nothing to distract. You can clearly hear instructions from both sides. So it’s interesting yeah is it. You must’ve been hearing their their corner yell and things like that. Do you change your game plan? Did you change the way you were fighting based on what you heard their corners thanks? I just tried to try to react accordingly to both, just because I could hear them saying certain things, but they had their own like code code words for stuff, so I was trying to figure out what that was without putting myself in danger to be taken advantage Of by what they were looking for so – and that was a little strange because I could hear them say yeah – I see it. No, my aw crap. What’S he see? What’S he see? Where am I looking and then uh? I was just getting kicked in the leg. Again and it can’t yeah, can you hear like the, for example, I like DC? Do you hear the commentators and stuff like that as well yeah? You could hear a lot of it, not all of it, but you can hear a lot of it, especially like, especially when I hear or I catch one of those kicks, and I can hear everybody scream ooh, I’m like. Oh, that must not look very good and then yeah this this weekend coming up is really exciting. I find especially for your division of 135 division. What what are your thoughts on the fights going on up? Obviously, cody gar Brant is a big fight. They’Re all Jemaine sterling another big fight yeah. How do you think the whole thing should unfold with Henry cejudo relinquishing his belt, and I was really thinking that they were gon na, do Algie main sterling and Peter Yount for the for the vacant belt, but just made the most sense to me but uh. I know if they both need to get one more before the and make sense. I think, regardless, it’s still gon na, be those two that that are fighting each other. I just think they’re they’re, the top of the line right now, really good, I’m interested to see how a guard rack and handle Manny’s I’m a bigger skid than I am so yes to see how he handles that he’s somebody I saw him fight years ago and I think I was still fighting 145 at the time, and that was somebody that I just envisioned myself fighting eventually, so I know yeah, it’s a big fight for him against the son Sal. I think it’s a really really tough fight, especially in like three fights kid yeah, very, very dangerous fight for him to take, I think, 100 %. I was kind of surprised that he he took that was kind of. I was almost expecting to see like some boxing shenanigans, where he’s getting fed somebody to build him back up because he’s, I think, he’s still got a lot of that star power. So yeah I mean I think he outside of his. I think the biggest issue he has is, he gets very emotional yeah. He gets clipped, he just goes crazy and he you know he saw it against TJ and it gets wound. Yells yeah – and I think this is really a good test for him, because I don’t think he’s gon na be able to put a son so away. So I think it’s gon na be a sight guy, tough, a tough grind for sure yeah. I agree. I was just that he’s a tank, it’s a hard guy to put away so man that’s a tall order. I’M I’m interested to see all these fights. There’S a stamina and Keller here. I think I think they’re fighting in 45 this weekend too, but uh. That’S that’s! That’S what I’m interested to see. I want to see how stamina comes that comes off dealing with the song controversy, whatever whatever yeah, I think that’s an extremely tough fight for Kelleher. I’M surprised he took it, especially given the fact that he just fought recently. Yeah must be feeling good after that. Knockout is why Oh crazy knock! Oh yeah, that’s great! What went behind the decision, because, obviously you moved up to 145 for this fight. Was it the short notice and was it something you both agreed on like well we’re both 135 hours may as well fight at 45? Exactly pretty much? My manager hit me up on a well ten days out and was saying that uh he’s got an offer for a fight at featherweight. I used to fight there, so I’m like oh cool and he’d, been dropping a bunch of fat jokes after seeing me and uh in Jacksonville yeah. So I’m thinking he thought I was heavier than I was literally. I woke up for waiting to add to cut two pounds. So 145 is not a cup for me yeah and then he was like yeah. Okay, we got this deal a new contract. Let’S, if you want it, it’s here, I’m like okay, cool, like I’m, I mean: let’s do that and ya just thought. It would work out a little better, so yeah I’m! You know, I think, I think, taking a fight on ten days notice and during a pandemic when the UFC is having a hard time finding fights. I don’t think that’s you know the end of the line. I think it. I think it just shows the kind of person you are and I think the UFC respects people who are willing to take fights on ten days notice like who does that oh yeah yeah, especially during a pandemic. It’S right it it’s hard to come by guys who are willing to do that and I think Dana White said it publicly like it’s hard to find fights right now, a lot of guys aren’t willing to do it. Yeah it was. It was crazy. He gave us that little pre-fight speech and got everybody fired up and I thought we’re gon na have to fight in the before everything went down. It was crazy, okay, he’s when it comes to motivating fighters. He is definitely that he’s unbelievable of that for sure. Rikki Samoan had a crazy fight. You guys, you guys are related. Aren’T you yeah he’s my cousin yeah. It was crazy fight back and forth a very, very narrow, narrow decision. What are your thoughts on his performance? I thought he did great. You did everything, so we did. He had a sore campus a lot. I think it was like two and a half weeks or something but uh so anyways I went over. I went over. We got to Train and stuff literally everything that Coach Turner was having us work on that happened in the fight defended the guillotines properly dealt with the wrestling properly out struck, I that was like a hundred percent according to game plan other than getting to finish. That’S some we’re always looking for, but yeah. I thought he performed great um, Ricky Ricky’s uh he’s something special he’s got. Some he’s got some great stuff behind him and well he was fighting a hell of a fighter in Ray Bourque who’s really really good. He fought for the title, so I were performance and to and on to fight losing streak. I think he really needed it and uh. How do you feel about him cutting them all at though uh so hope when he first started growing the mold? I was the first one to tell him, don’t do it like you got ta get rid of that thing. I was always nagging about about that. So he finally did – and I I was finally happy – I don’t think man, though you got a lot of flack for that. Actually, that was a social media blew up when that happened, that’s kind of crazy yeah I was upset. I was like that’s what he was known for, like it’s like a for Nelson shaved. You know like it’s, it would, I don’t know it changes who he is as a person. I think he’s to me he’s back to normal now so, but it worked, I mean he won the fight. So if I think mola did it, I guess yeah how Z how’s the testing. Obviously a lot a lot, a lot of controversy with the UFC. You know they’re forcing fighters to fight how’s it testing been and from a fighter perspective. How how do you take the whole thing it kind of is what it is um I had you solid. I was dealing with you started at the same time, so it’s it’s. Just another another thing to go through another hoop to jump through it. It is what it is fight. We can always got some unprecedented obstacles to work over and that that’s basically what that was. So it was a little uncomfortable, the ones in Florida. You saw they go all the way up to. No, it’s like you know, tickle your brain, the ones here they changed and they swab the back of your throat that one might have been more uncomfortable. It was, it was really bizarre. Yeah I got the. I got the nose one done really early on pandemic and I didn’t I mean it kind of caught me off guard, so they did both nostrils and the first one I was like ooh, but knowing the second one was coming. I didn’t like it, but I never got the throat one done. I don’t think I could yeah the throat ones. I didn’t like that. One like it seemed like it was gon na be easier. It was not how many, how many tests do you do throughout the week? Is it just one or so this time we had to do one right when we got there and then one after weigh-ins over four wins, I’m not real sure over in Jacksonville, though we just have to do the one when we got there, but every morning they Check our temperature and they would they were doing that same thing same thing here in Vegas they were checking our temperature every morning, so somebody had to do by like 11:00 every day. What’S the protocol now that you’ve you’ve fought, you went through the testing there. Are they like enforcing you or encouraging you to take 14 days, or are you just back home, I’m just back home, so I live here in Vegas, so I’m just back in my apartment and hanging out they yeah I passed all the tests. Testing was fine. I passed everything so yeah, nothing to worry about yeah this one I feel like I was watching the fights and someone I was with was like: why are they all wearing masks if they’re all testing and they’re all testing? It’S it’s really unusual and like seeing forcing people to stay six feet apart, even though, but they just tested and they’re fine. It’S really strange and I hope things gets kind of sorted out sooner rather than later yeah. So do I that was real, strange cuz. That was one thing that went through my mind when, when we got to the faceoffs after weigh-ins, we stood there and he stopped kind of early, and I was expecting him to keep going forward. So I took a little tiny step and then I was thinking. Wait am I breaking the rule right now like what was I supposed to be doing? I don’t know it’s all these other things. I think it’s kind of just to appease to the the Commission. I think they’re sitting in certain guidelines and restrictions, and this is kind of like okay, while we’re doing this in precaution of this yada yada and it kind of goes from goes from there. So whether or not it’s all actually helpful, I don’t know, but I know it probably looks better to the eye that this beats be taking that serious yeah. I think that’s more or less what it is, because I don’t think it really makes a difference. You guys just know you’re gon na go fight, I you know. If one of you guys gets strangled, drool is gon na be going all over the. It doesn’t make any sense to me, but I guess it is very appeasing to the eye, and especially for people who are we’re watching they want things to look. I guess the best they can given a situation exactly we have. We have a big fight coming up. This weekend and the second title fight, I think, their third title fight since the the pandemic. If you include the interim title, what are your thoughts on the fight? I’M Canadian, so part of me is rooting for Felicia Spencer right but deep down, I I know it’s a tough, tough test in Amanda Nunez. What’S your prediction, man so every time so I picked against Amanda a few times and she’s always pulled it off. I’Ve picked against Felicia err like every single time and she always pulled it off. So I’m pretty much whatever I choose is probably gon na be wrong. I’M really not sure I’m kind of thinking Amanda’s got too much firepower and too much just she can be too much for overall, but uh Felicia’s got this she’s got this weird like dominating thing about her, where she can just get a hold of people, and then They don’t know what to do so. I still think Amanda’s gon na be too much, but I’m trying I’m trying not to overlook Felicia, and I guess we kind of shift the focus now and and sort of the same thing with your division. Obviously, a lot it’s gon na unfold here yawn and although Edgar Munoz there’s a lot of big fights. Who do you think a year from now will be holding the belt a year from now? Probably I want to say Peter yawns, probably gon, na catch it and hold on to it for a few fights. That’S it’s hard to count out San Diego San Diegans. Like that’s kind of a problem, you know he’s got a real weird body, talk for the division, real big awkward style, but he knows everything really well, that’s a difficult fight! Um, I want to say Peter yawns, probably still gon na, be the guy that I think he’s just too much for a lot of people right now, all right, perfect and then like last question before I let you go and probably ice up your leg. What what sort of things are you doing when you’re, not training right now during the pandemic? Obviously you can’t get out. Are you big into gaming? Are you what shows you watching on TV gamings like the main thing, I’m doing yeah, I play a lot of Call of Duty. I bought a PC last year, so I’ve been doing everything on on PC most of Call of Duty. I got ta go, get the new Final Fantasy. Seven I’ve been waiting so after the fight, so I can get that and I I throw on what kind of whatever is on Netflix. I just started watching that space force show with Steve Carell yeah. I heard it’s. It’S got mixed reviews, but I heard it’s really good yeah. I actually really enjoyed it. I might have to like throw it on again. I’Ve been did it all real fast, but no, it was really good. Um yeah, pretty much anything sci-fi. I end up throw end up enjoying. Do you a question? I I’ve wondered but never asked. Does UFC provide all fighters with fight paths. I yeah. I don’t know if I ever set that up, though I did, I didn’t end up watching much on 5s. I watch everything on ESPN now, that’s where, like so half the stuffs available on ESPN Plus and then half the stuffs available on 5s, so I, like, I chopped I helping my parents account because they have it and I watch like sug and stuff like that. But yeah we’re supposed to get provided that I just haven’t, set it up yet, okay, yeah, I wasn’t sure I was always wondered that I was like. Should I just like register to be a fighter just so I could get it. I don’t think I’d want to go through that the wide kicks it’s not as fun as it looks alright man. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time, especially two days out after a fight, so looking forward to seeing you back in there and hopefully the pandemic and everything’s cleared up, so you can get good training and everything. Oh yeah. I appreciate it man, it’s good talking to you. Iron man, all the best, alright, thanks, take it easy yeah. You too

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

Leave a Reply