The UFC Apex has hosted some great fights during the pandemic. None come bigger than UFC 252 which takes place this Saturday in Las Vegas. The card is headlined by the highly anticipated trilogy between Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.
I caught up with UFC Lightweight Vinc Pichel as he prepares to take on fellow veteran Jim Miller. Both athletes have been competing at the highest level for many years and don’t tend to be slowing down. UFC 252, they put it all on the line.
Vinc Pichel (12-2) has been on fight fans radars dating back to 2012 when competing on The Ultimate Fighter Season 15. Grinding his way up the ladder, Pichel quickly cemented himself as a guy who just likes to scrap.
However, In 2018, Pichel’s four-fight winning streak was snapped by Gregor Gillespie. It wouldn’t be the first time the 37-year old has faced adversity in his career. A year later Pichel defeated Roosevelt Roberts in convincing fashion ending the 8-fight winning streak of ‘The Predator’.
Jim Miller (32-14) will make his 47th walk on Saturday as a professional mixed martial artist. The veteran has been competing inside the promotion since 2018, fighting some of the best guys in the sport.
Despite being 36 years of age, Miller hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down. The New Jersey-born has kept active this year, tasting defeat at the start of 2020 to Scott Holtzman and rebounding with a win over Roosevelt Roberts in June.
How has preparation been ahead of your bout with Miller at UFC 252? How much time have you had to prepare for this matchup? I imagine It’s not been your usual camp due to the current pandemic?
Pichel – “I told my manager Jason house to say yes to any fight and tell me who it is later. Preparation is for those who need it!”
The fight card is stacked from top to bottom. Do you like being involved in such a great card when you’re aware many eyes from all across the world will be tuning in or does that not play a factor in your mind?
Pichel – “I don’t care who else is on the card besides my opponent. I honestly don’t know who else is on the card besides Cormier and Miocic.”
From 2014-2018 seen you build an impressive four-fight winning streak, then falling short to Gillespie. A year later you were back with a convincing win v Roberts. What did you take away from that loss to Gillespie and implement it in your next bout?
Pichel – “Some guys don’t come to actually fight, they come to take the easiest way out of it. I made a mistake and he caught me, won’t happen again.”
You’ve been around the game and the UFC for a long time, at this age and stage of your career, how hard is it to put your body through tough grueling camps. How do you go about making sure your body can cope with all the wear and tear and then compete at the end of it?
Pichel – “It’s actually not hard at all for me, I love what I do and when I’m in the gym you’d never know who the old man is and who the young bucks are. I just don’t let myself get lazy with taking better care of myself outside of training, which I never did before because I took my natural talents and abilities for granted.”
This matchup is an intriguing one between two veterans, how do you match up stylistically with Jim Miller and what kind of fight can fans expect to see from you guys?
Pichel – “I think it’s a good fight for either of us, he’s got the advantage in the grappling and I have the advantage in the striking, that’s the way I see it. Fans can expect a fight because that’s what both of us come to do.”
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