Anthony Avila planning to be himself in Combate Global tournament

April 23, 2021

Coming off his win over Pablo Sabori at Combate Americas 31 in February, 2019, lightweight Anthony Avila was looking forward to continuing the five-fight winning streak he had built for himself in the near future, but instead he has spent the last two years waiting to get back into fighting.

In particular, Avila saw his 2020 derailed by the novel coronavirus, but still maintained his discipline and remained as active as he could waiting to get back into the cage.

“Fortunately I was able to train the majority of the time last year, so I didn’t really have that much of a big layoff as far as training, but as far as fighting, it’s been a while,” Avila told MMAWeekly.com.

Avila admits that it was not motivation to keep training that was the toughest part of his layoff, but keeping his conditioning where he wanted at as he continued to develop his game.

“As far as training it’s not (hard to stay focused) but when it comes to dieting 100%,” said Avila. “It’s rough.

“I feel like I’ve gotten quite a bit better, but when it comes to fighting I believe the small things are the most important skills of the fights. All the big flashy stuff is cool, but it’s the small stuff that means the most.”

This Friday in Miami, Florida, Avila (18-5) will first face Alex Sanchez (9-3) as part of Combate Global’s single-night four-man 155-pound tournament.

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“Obviously I’m fighting Alex Sanchez first, so we looked quite a bit at him because if I don’t get past him there’s nobody else,” Avila said. “We focused on him a lot, but we also took a look at other (three) guys and saw how they were as well.

“(Sanchez is) big and he’s strong and he’s powerful. The key to victory is just be myself and go out there and fight how I feel and I should have a clear-cut win.”

While it’s been two years since he last fought, Avila’s goal that he set for himself two years ago remains: to keep his winning ways going and work his way towards the biggest opportunities he can.

“I feel like it’s going to be the same: I’m going to go out there, put on a show, and get the W,” said Avila. “I believe 2021 is going to be the same as all the other years.

“I’m 100 percent more focusing on this. The other stuff will come if it’s meant to be, but this fight is here now, so I’m focused on these ones.”