It’s been a nearly nine-month layoff for 125-pound prospect Czar Sklavos, but for good reason.
During preparations for a fight late last year, Sklavos went for routine check-ups and found an issue that could have potentially turned into something very serious.
“I had to have eye surgery in November for a detached retina, so I had to take some time off for that,” Sklavos said. “Once it was healed up, since February, I’ve been training and getting ready to fight.”
Sklavos was aware something might have been wrong, but did not know the extent of his injury.
“I did notice a little bit of an issue with my vision, I just had little dark spots in front of my eyes and I got it checked out and they told me that day I needed surgery,” he said. “They told me that if I didn’t have surgery I could lose vision in my eye, so it was kind of surprising.”
Having won his last fight before his layoff, Sklavos (7-2) will be looking to win his second fight in a row when he makes his CFA debut Friday night in Coral Gables, Fla., against veteran Alexis Vila live on AXS TV.
“He’s a tough guy who has a lot of experience on a bigger stage,” said Sklavos of Vila. “I think to win the fight, I have to keep outside and kind of avoid turning it into a wrestling match.
“I’ve got to stay one step ahead of him and out-think the guy. That’s what it’s really about, out-smarting the other fighter, like a game of chess.”
Due to the recent media attention aimed towards transgender fighter Fallon Fox, this Friday’s event could potentially present a mass of distraction for fighters on the card. However, Sklavos told MMAWeekly.com that he feels the attention could be a good thing.
“I think it’s great just because the more publicity the show gets, the more chance I get to showcase my skills to a larger audience,” he said.
“Yeah, it will be kind of circus, but it won’t be directed toward me, so I’ll just be able to sit back and watch the show, I guess.”
Should Sklavos do well against Vila, it could go a long way towards helping him establish himself as someone to watch in the 125-pound weight class.
“I’d like to get into the Top 10 and eventually get a title shot,” he said. “There’s no real substitution for that.
“If I can get into the Top 10 by the end of the year, that’d be my goal.”