Heading into this year, bantamweight Vince Morales had clear cut goals he wanted to achieve, and so far he’s been able to do just that.
Not only is Morales reaching the amount of activity he had wanted to get in 2018, but he’ll also be getting a chance to step up into the UFC after hitting a road bump in the middle of the year.
“My goal for 2018 was to get four fights in, so with this (upcoming) fight I’ll be at four fights,” Morales told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve had some pretty solid opponents this whole year. I’ve been testing myself. I’m enjoying the progress I’ve been showing.”
Coming off a loss at Dana White’s Contender Series in July to Domingo Pilarte, Morales has been able to use the experience to catapult him into a return shot at the UFC before year’s end.
“The Contender experience was awesome,” said Morales. “I think the whole experience is fueling my drive now and my confidence now. Even though I didn’t come out with a win in that one I felt great.
“I’m grateful it’s a second chance after the Contender Series. I was ecstatic, really. It’s everything I’ve been working for, but at the same time I know that this is where it all really begins.”
On Saturday in Beijing, China, Morales (8-2) will get his second chance at the UFC when he takes on Yadong Song (13-4) in a main card 135-pound bout at UFC Fight Night 141.
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“He’s already proven himself; he has two wins in the UFC and both were finishes; so he’s been impressive,” Morales said of Song. “The first time I saw him I knew he was going to be a handful, and I had to make sure I would be ready for people at that when I got to this level; I had no idea he was going to be my first opponent.
“We’re doing all the right stuff here with my head coach Tony Fryklund to make sure that I’m ready. I’ve just got to go in there and do me, and I think I can surprise a lot of people.”
Having been busy this year, Morales sees no reason why he can’t keep up the same level of activity in the UFC moving forward in 2019.
“I’m the kind of person who wants to get in there, have a fight, then get right back in there and have another,” said Morales. “I’m hoping within the next year I can get all four of my fights in. If they’ve got to throw me to the wolves, I’m fine with that, I like those scenarios. I’ll be ready.”