It was a very disappointing trip to London for Vince Morales in March, but it ended with a life-changing event.
Morales was scheduled to step in on short notice to face Nathaniel Wood in the UFC’s return to London on March 19. Unfortunately, the fight never occurred because Morales had to pull out a few days before the fight. He was not cleared due to illness.
In an exclusive interview with Cageside Press, Morales explained what happened.
“I don’t know if there was something on the flight or if it was the weight cut because I had already started dropping weight. I don’t know what it was. As soon as I got there, I noticed everything was really cold. I had just got off the plane and was like, ‘England’s cold, this is f*cking terrible,” Morales said. “So anyway, we get to the hotel, and I check-in and everything. The flight was long and terrible, the checking-in process took forever, and I kind of poker-faced through all my media stuff; when I got back from my room, I was still freezing, and I was wearing a big winter coat. I didn’t know what was going on… So I took a hot shower to warm up and took a hot bath; I couldn’t warm up. And then after about an hour, I got out, and I was still cold, and then my body started feeling really weak. And I was like, I think I’m getting sick.”
Morales was beside himself. “Like, are you shitting me? I was like, whatever. I kind of just toughed it out that day. And I went and had PT the next morning, and Heather with the UFC PI was there, and she saw me she’s like, ‘you, alright?’ and I was like, ‘I’m alright, I’m alright.’ Then she took my temperature, it was 101 or something and then gave me some fever reducer. She’s like, ‘I gotta let the doctor know where you’re at right now because we’re not supposed to let you cut weight like this.’ Basically, it’s kind of a big deal to cut weight. And then I was like, well, let’s give it a day. We’ll see.”
“I gave John [Wood] a heads up, I gave my manager heads up. And then the next day, I woke up and felt even worse. I woke up, and my sheets were soaked because I was sweating all night. It was a really bizarre. I don’t know, it was the first time something like that happened. And then then, of course, they had their checks on me, and sure enough, the temperature is exactly the same. And Heather was like, ‘yeah, I gotta let the doctor know.’ So the doctor called me and said, ‘yeah, we can’t allow you to fight after this.'”
That was that. Morales was out of his fight with Woods. “Vandetta” was beyond bummed and heartbroken. He couldn’t even fly home because he wasn’t allowed to.
“F*ck, so I just sat around the hotel room for six days waiting to get cleared to even come home. They wouldn’t let me get a flight. They took like three COVID tests because that was kind of what they thought it was at first, and those all came back negative. So I was good there, but man, I had positive COVID tests before, and this was way worse. Whatever I got over there was way worse. It kicked my ass, and my weight hasn’t even come back from that. I’ve been hanging around under 150 since I got back,” Morales said.
The one positive that came out of the trip to London was that Morales proposed to his girlfriend. She grew up in England, so it was was a big deal for him.
“See her face light up and everything. It was something I kind of didn’t think I would ever do, especially that way. It was a kind of cool, special moment that I’m kind of proud of.”
Vince Morales returns to action against Jonathan Martinez at UFC Vegas 55. Watch the rest of our interview with Morales above.