Vinny Magalhaes is seeing his hard work pay off, but the path wasn’t easy.
On New Year’s eve, Magalhaes will go one-on-one with Sean O’Connell in the light heavyweight tournament final under the Professional Fighters League (PFL). The winner will not only be crowned the PFL light heavyweight champion, but he will also receive $1 million. This is a position that few could’ve expected Magalhaes to be in just a few years ago.
Vinny Magalhaes Gets Better With Time
Magalhaes was once a member of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster, but his time there didn’t last long. Magalhaes went 1-2 under the promotion before being released. He had a record of 10-7, 1 NC at the time, but he has gone 8-2 since then. During the PFL 11 press conference, Magalhaes told MMA News that he’s learned how to organize things in his life:
“I’m just getting older man, so you start to get a little wiser. It’s like what happened the beginning of the year I was just like ‘man I’m losing fights or matches, even jiu-jitsu which I shouldn’t be losing,’ and I was like ‘why is this happening? Am I as bad as these people are saying that I am? Or am I not dedicating myself in training or life in general as I should?’ I just decided to refocus and really organize everything else that’s going on in my life. Even the gym that I run, I was just like ‘you know what man, let me just focus on fighting right now a hundred percent.'”
A tournament format is nothing new to Magalhaes and he’s found great success with it in PFL. The light heavyweight says he prefers this format over the standard contracts in other promotions:
“That helps for sure. When people say it’s a tournament format I’m like, ‘dude that’s perfect.’ When I was fighting and competing in jiu-jitsu, in a tournament you’d have six to 10 matches in a weekend. And then the next day I would be back in the gym. Even though my body would be beat up, we’d be back in the gym. Even if I wasn’t training full speed, I’d be training for the fact that I need to improve new skills or stay in shape. With this format there’s no time for us to take a break. There’s no time for us to get lazy. That’s the problem with regular contracts. You don’t know when you’ll be fighting again.”
PFL 11 will take place inside Hulu Theater in New York City’s famous Madison Square Garden. MMA News will be on the scene providing coverage of the event.