“I dealt with a couple of little injury setbacks in the past year and a half. I had an injury in my last UFC outing so I was trying to come back from that,” Riley told MMAWeekly.com content partner Knockout Radio. “And then I was scheduled against Cody McKenzie, but then I had some issues that came up that kept me out of that match, so it was just picking a good time to come back. Everything is going well now so looking to get back in there and get things rolling again.”
Riley takes on Justin Salas at UFC on Fox 8. The bout will be his forty-fifth professional fight.
“I’ve seen some video on him. I know he’s got some strong wrestling. He’s an aggressive, tough fighter. He’s a southpaw, like me. So that should make it a little bit interesting for the both of us because most of us southpaw fighters don’t square off against another southpaw super often. But I have a couple times in my career and been able to deal with it pretty well,” he said.
Riley has much more experience than Salas, who will be fighting for the fifteenth time in his career, but Riley isn’t banking on experience.
“The experience is a big factor and it is helpful, but you are only as good as your last fight in MMA. I know that if I don’t show up ready to go then he’ll be ready to take a win, so I have to come in completely ready to go and ready to stop him from trying to do that,” said Riley. “It is a good thing for me to have the advantage with the experience. I wouldn’t give that away, but at the same time you can’t look past anybody.”
“(His experience) doesn’t even factor into my mind, honestly. I just look at it as he’s a guy training hard to try to come and do damage to me and I’m training hard to do the same to thing. So I don’t even think about it,” he added.
Riley expects an exciting fight and is eager to get back in the cage after a lengthy time off.
“I’ve trained hard and I’m in good shape. I’m ready to take the fight to this guy and I’m sure he’s ready to do the same thing, so I think it’s going to make for an exciting fight. That’s pretty much it, man,” said the veteran fighter.
“Obviously, I’m out here really getting after it hard,” he added. “I think it’s been rejuvenating to my mind and my body to be away from fight camps for a really long time, so that made me really excited to get back in there and really get after it hard. So I’m going to go after it hard when I’m in the cage and it’ll be no different.”