Las Vegas, NV — Bantamweight Vince Morales was “still processing the emotional part” following a big win to open the UFC Vegas 44 card on Saturday.
Morales (11-5) has now put together two straight victories, this time care of a knockout of Louis Smolka. The right hand, which countered a knee to the body, was something Morales and his team had worked on during training camp.
“We’d been drilling catching the body shot and immediately firing back, granted it was off punches just because he generally starts his combos with punches to the body,” Morales told media outlet including Cageside Press following the bout. “Just being in the clinch, I blocked two knees with my elbow, felt a touch, wham. That’s all she wrote.”
After dropping a couple of fights earlier in his UFC run, Morales recognizes that he might have hit a turning point in his career on Saturday. “I think it’s a big turning point for my career here, honestly. I think I was a little gun shy for what the moments were, thinking I could do better next time — which I still believe I can. But with that mindset going in, I don’t think I could really show and do what I need to do.”
Yet having said that, he stills feels he can top his performance against Smolka. “You can always do better.”
Following the win, Morales called out Nathaniel Wood, and explained why backstage at the UFC Apex. “I think it’s a great fight, I think he’s tough, I think he’s in the direction of where I’m headed and where I want to be, and that’s with the top 15 guys. I think he’s got a good skill set, I think we match up pretty well and we’d have a great fight. And we get to go to London.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 44 post-fight press scrum with Vince Morales above. More coverage from the event can be found below.