Within hours from now, Vince “Vandetta” Morales will appear on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series with the opportunity to earn a contract into the UFC when he squares off with Domingo “Son of Fire” Pilarte. Morales entered 2018 driven to advance his MMA career to uncharted territory. In order to do that, Morales had to make some tough sacrifices:
“At the beginning of the year, part of my resolutions — I usually set out like 4-5 of those — was to go full time training, which I did for this fight,” Morales told MMA Today. “I just quit my job so I could focus on this fight. Getting to the big show is a huge goal for this year. I just felt like I had to do something to make that happen.”
Now, on this 17th day of July, Morales is hours away from “making it happen.” And when first delivered the news of the opportunity that stands before him, Morales was over the moon:
“I was pumped. The team was pumped,” described Morales. “It was kind of out of the blue. It’s stuff like this that I’m gunning for all the time. It’s just that I never really heard that it might be coming. I just take everything fight by fight and hope for the best with that goal in mind. It was out of the blue, but long-awaited.”
Don’t confuse excitement with nerves, however, as Morales enters today’s contest confident that the pieces will fall in his favor as long as he stays true to what got him to the dance:
“As long as I just go in there and do my thing, the chips will fall right where they need to,” Morales said. “I’m just putting my faith in that and going forward.
“I bring a real fighter mentality to the cage,” said Morales. “The UFC has a good eye for the people who come to fight. People just want to fight for the title. I’m fighting for the title of a fighter. I’m not wanting to be that. I am that. I come to fight.”
As far as how Morales specifically sees the fight playing out, he expects a lot of push from Pilarte and is more than prepared to push back:
“I expect there to be a lot of back-and-forth action, a lot of striking, and a lot of transitions on the ground. It’s just going to be a non-stop fight. The first one to break, that’s going to be the person losing.”
Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series airs exclusively tonight on UFC Fight Pass 8PM ET, 5PM PT.