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UFC News: James Vick feels he will be fighting to save his job at Fight Night Tampa

Anurag Mitra
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:43 IST

James Vick
James Vick

In a conversation with MMA Fighting, James Vick discussed his upcoming debut at welterweight against Niko Price at UFC Fight Night in Tampa, Florida. He opened up on his decision to move up to welterweight and also revealed why he thinks he could be fighting for his job on Saturday.

‘The Texecutioner’ says he feels much better after moving to welterweight because it is much closer to his natural weight and he does not have to go through scary weight cuts anymore.

“I feel much better. I have about eight pounds left to shed and for me, that’s very easy. Well, I always cheat on my diet which is why I know if I wanted to, I could go back to lightweight because I never missed weight in my career even though I was always cheating on my diet. This time however, I didn’t start with the diet until two weeks ago and I did a big portion of my camp in Thailand where I ate different kinds of food.”

James feels that his stint at lightweight has come to an abrupt end because of the losses that he suffered and the fact that he wasn’t ranked in the division.

“The losses coupled with the fact that I wasn’t ranked anymore led to the decision. If I was ranked, I would have stayed at lightweight. If you are not ranked, it kind of defeats the purpose especially when the lightweight division is so hard to get ranked at so I just felt like it was time for me to move on.”

Compared to the scenario at lightweight, Vick is of the view that the welterweight division suits him better because the competition isn’t as stiff as that in the heavily stacked lightweight division.

“I don’t think it’s as deep. There are guys in the lightweight division that have won six-seven fights in a row but they weren’t even ranked in the top 15 in lightweight. Obviously everybody is good in any division in the UFC but the competition at lightweight is unbelievable.”

Vick set to fight for his job

James believes that he will set foot inside the Octagon on Saturday to fight for his job.

“My career is dependent on what goes down on Saturday night and I’m not delusional about that. I got to win this fight. I have lost three fights in a row now and losing the fourth one is not an option for me.”

Plugging the gaps

Getting into the fight, Vick knows that he has a few shortcomings in his game and he says that he assessed them and put in the required amount of work to ensure that they don’t expose him going forward.

“If you look at the last three guys I have fought, I mean first of all, they are all ranked now amongst the top seven or eight in the world; they are all killers and I got beat with technical issues like dropping my hands, keeping my chin in there and these are things that I have focused on religiously and I feel like I made major progress and I definitely feel like I could be one of the top fighters in the world. It’s just a matter of keeping my hands up and my chin down.”

Vick calls himself an 'underdog'

‘The Texecutioner’ is full of respect for his opponent Niko Price and feels that he is the underdog going into this fight as Price carries a well-rounded repertoire of both striking as well as grappling skills.

“I honestly believe that he is a striker but I think he is good on the ground as well. I think he will be looking to hit me with bombs in the early exchanges, shooting overhands and hooks and if he fails, he is going to grapple with me. He has beaten a lot of people and i know that I am an underdog in this fight but he has also been knocked out in two out of his last three fights.”

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Published 11 Oct 2019, 17:45 IST
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