One of two UFC contract winners at week two of this year’s Contender Series, Miguel Baeza never considered pulling out of the fight, no matter how badly his opponent missed weight.
Las Vegas, NV — Sure, Miguel Baeza could have turned down his fight with Victor Reyna on Tuesday. Reyna tipped the scales at 178lbs, well over the welterweight non-title fight limit of 171lbs. He could have said no, and given how badly Reyna missed the mark, it’s likely Baeza would have been rebooked at some point.
That, however, never crossed his mind. That’s not the kind of fighter Baeza is. Knowing that, it’s no surprise that he was still upset post-fight about not finishing the bout Tuesday.
“It was a tough fight, they changed it up on me. Obviously I’ve got to go back and get better. I really was looking for the finish, and I know Dana was looking for that,” he told reporters including Cageside Press after what was a very entertaining Contender Series scrap. “I was saying, I feel like every fighter should be looking to try to dominate their opponent. You go in there, you’re not there to play touch butt, quoting Nate Diaz. You’re there to finish the guy, and I wasn’t able to do that. So I was a little disappointed in myself, and I didn’t really think the fight went the way Dana wanted it [to]”
Still, Baeza recognized that, weight issues or not, “Reyna was a vet, he’s a tough guy.” So the welterweight is “happy with the contract, but I’m going to work on getting better, and getting that finish. That’s the goal.”
On the weight issue, Baeza underscored that “it didn’t matter. The fact is, I’m here to fight. I’ve put in the weeks, the months, the years of my life go into this.” And so, he said, for somebody to question whether he wanted to fight, over an opponent missing weight, “what? If the guy was 185, 195, 205, I’d have been like ‘we’re going to fight.’ Plain and simple. There was no second guessing that. I was here for one reason, and that’s it.”
No question of pulling out, but once again, the lack of a finish bothered the fighter, who said that moving forward, he’ll take the approach that “I don’t get paid by the hour, so we’ll put him out in the first round.”
Watch the full Miguel Baeza post-fight press scrum from Dana White’s Contender Series Season 3, Week 2 above.