Las Vegas, NV — A former lightweight champ in the PFL, Raush Manfio stumbled in 2022, and was out of the season prior to the playoffs.
“Terrible, terrible. I didn’t like my version at all,” Manfio (16-4) admitted during this week’s PFL 3 media day, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press. “I think I improved so much for this season, and I learned so much from my mistakes. The lack of attitude as a fighter, I was needing. I don’t know if I was comfortable after the tournament, or I took a vacation too long, to return.”
The big win in 2021 also might have played a role. “It was the first moment in my life I was like, ‘don’t worry about money.'”
“I need to redeem myself,” Manfio went on to add. “After beating Don Madge, we didn’t win good, but I won. So I repeated the mistake in the second fight and screwed up everything. Got a little bit of injuries, surgery, a lot of things happened, but now I’m really good.”
A silver lining to falling out of the season early last year was getting time to heal up. “I had time to recover from injuries I had for years, that I finally treated.” Manfio had also never taken a vacation before, “because you never know when the next fight’s going to be. After the tournament, I took like five weeks totally off. I deserved it, but when I returned, I was like, ‘where’s my lungs?'”
Motivation was another area Raush Manfio has had to make adjustments.
“For me, the motivation was always like, survive.” Then, after his championship win, “now I have the money, I bought a house, I bought a car. Maybe I couldn’t find real motivation. I thought fighting only for fun was just enough, but I saw last year it was not. I need to be there like as a warrior, still dreaming, because you need to dream. Double champ, triple champ next season. So I put new goals, and I think the lack of goals last season was a problem for me, but I’m still dreaming now.”
All that has been addressed ahead of his fight with Alex Martinez. On the subject of his opponent, “I think he’s a really good Taekwondo guy, kicks good. Taller than me but we have the same reach, so I think the striking’s not going to make a difference, in the boxing.”
Manfio believes that he has “improved a lot,” especially in jiu-jitsu, “so you can expect a submission. I’m ready to to punch him, strike him, when he’s tumbling around, to try to finish this fight, submit him.”
Watch the full 2023 PFL 3 media day appearance from Raush Manfio above.