UFC Louisville’s Miguel Baeza on Tough Road Back, Uncertainty

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 15: Miguel Baeza poses on the scale during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on April 15, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

When Miguel Baeza steps into the cage at UFC Louisville, it’ll have been just short of 26 months since we last saw him. While the welterweight has been booked for a couple of fights, injuries have kept him from those and led to this prolonged absence. Although he’s constantly been working on different aspects of his game, he’d be lying if he said it was easy.

“To be honest, it’s been pretty tough, especially with the way my career started,” Baeza said. “I didn’t expect any of this to go down the way it did.”

However, with adversity comes growth. Not only has this time away given ‘Caramel Thunder’ the chance to work on things, but it’s also helped him see the positive side of things.

“With any trial, you need to come out on top and I feel like that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m coming back and I’m coming back better,” he said. “I feel like the biggest difference is going to be more my mentality and going back in there and really appreciating the oppostunities that I have – the fact that the UFC stuck by me and I’m still there.”

That mentality shift not only comes from the UFC’s backing, but also from conscious work that Baeza did in the time away. He stressed that it was an area that not just he needed to improve, but all fighters should spend more time on.

“I did [see a mental coach] to try to improve that part of my game because I think that’s probably the biggest part of the game that you need,” Baeza said. “These’s always pressure in the UFC. The best fighters in the world fight there.”

Now ready to finally make that walk again, Baeza is feeling better than ever. Although he’s confident in his abilities going in, it just wouldn’t be fitting for him to call his shot.

“With everything going on in my life, to make a call to say that this is going to happen, it just doesn’t seem fitting. It seems like everytime I think something is going to go one way, it goes the complete other,” he said. “Just expect a great fight June 8th – it’s going to be fireworks.”

You can see those fireworks as part of the UFC Louisville main card. Baeza will take on Puna Soriano as part of the ESPN main card this Saturday. That portion of the card starts at 8pm EST.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 24:32.