Coming into 2020, welterweight Anthony Ivy felt like it could be the year he made the move up to the top level of the sport, but felt the transition might be later than sooner.
With the onset of the novel coronavirus, it appeared if Ivy’s plans could be in jeopardy, but sometimes in times of uncertainty comes opportunity, and as such his shot at the next level ended up coming sooner than later.
“The year started rough with the whole coronavirus stuff, but I thought I had a few more times before I got the call,” Ivy told MMAWeekly.com. “I thought I had to fight more regional guys before that. That was the mindset going into 2020.”
With the UFC looking to fill spots on its initial slate of cards returning from lockdown, Ivy got the call to join the company, fulfilling a goal five years in the making.
“I was going day by day and was hoping that something would pop up for another fight,” said Ivy. “(Whether) it was a local card or something in another state, I was just hoping for something to come through.
“It was good (to get the call to fight for the UFC). It was an amazing thing. Just getting the call, whether it was 12 hours’ notice or 24 hours’ notice, 48 hours’ notice, whatever it is, it was good. It was a good feeling and very humbling feeling as well.”
This Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ivy (8-2) will make his promotional debut when he faces Christian Aguilera (13-6) in a preliminary 170-pound bout at UFC Fight Night: Eve vs. Calvillo.
“You have to do what you can with the time you have (to get ready for a fight),” Ivy said. “You just have to go out there and do the best you’ve can. I train every day, whether we’re preparing for a fight or not.
“I’m prepared for this fight mentally, and to get the win we’re going to try to look for a finish. Whether it’s a knockout, a submission, TKO, whatever comes, whatever (Aguilera) shows that’s what we’re going to take.”
Now that he’s in the UFC the only thing that matters to Ivy is that he stays in the promotion as long as possible, circumstances of his debut notwithstanding.
“Whether it’s five, 20, 1000 (people in the audience), it doesn’t matter to me; the fact that we actually get the chance to step into the big show and fight in that cage, that’s all that matters to me,” said Ivy.
“The goal is always the same; whether it’s fight or the next, it’s always to be the best fighter I can be. Go out there and show what I can do. The goal was to get here, now the goal is to stay in the UFC.”