Marion Reneau was supposed to face Macy Chiasson last month, until a surprise COVID-19 diagnosis.
“My heart literally just dropped. I was completely devastated, because I’d felt fine,” she recalled during Thursday’s UFC Vegas 22 virtual media day. Reneau immediately spoke to her manager about pushing the fight back a reasonable amount of time. “It was bad, and then it was good. So here we are.”
Here they are indeed. The bantamweight pair will finally face off Saturday night. Both fighters wanted to hold on to the match-up. For Reneau, there’s the added pressure of coming into the fight on a three-fight skid. That’s not something the 43-year old is dwelling on, however.
“I’ve been told just to keep moving forward. As a heptathlete, or a collegiate heptathlete, you had seven events in two days to do those seven events. If you had a bad event, it was something that you couldn’t focus on, because you had to gear up and focus on the next event,” she explained. Reneau was a collegiate athlete at Long Beach State, and an Olympic hopeful in the early 2000s. The heptathalon was her focus in those days. “As I move forward, I see that they’re back there. Those fights, they were good fights, and they did not go my way. But that’s not something I’m going to harp on, and [think] ‘hey this one’s do or die.'”
Instead, Reneau enters the fight with the same mentality she always does, she said. “I have to get in there, I have to win. That’s my job. So I’m not focused too much on the previous fights. I’ve got to let those go. I can’t dwell on them. I’ve got to let the past go, and just keep moving forward.”
As for the break between the fight’s original date, and UFC Vegas 22, Reneau told media outlets that “we just stay on course. We were set to peak at that time, so we come down slowly. Then we re-engineer our camp so we peak again.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 22 virtual media day scrum with Marion Reneau above.