Daniel Pineda: ‘I’m trying to finish Tucker Lutz’ at UFC San Antonio

March 24, 2023

Following two years of cancelled bouts, and grappling matches, UFC featherweight Daniel Pineda is ready to finally return to action in definitive fashion. As Pineda puts it, he’s eager to get back to doing what he loves after having waited so long to do so.

“It’s been crazy,” Pineda told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve been in the game for a long time. I’m just training hard to get back into it.”

And when Pineda returns to action this month, he’s going to be a much better conditioned fighter thanks to advice from the UFC, and now looks to be able to perform to his peak ability.

“I’ve always trained really hard,” said Pineda. “The only thing that I’ve really changed is my diet; staying in shape and eating right; keeping my weight down.

“Literally cutting the weight when you’re dehydrated you lose all your cardio and everything. That’s part of what they’re teaching me is where cardio is coming from. Before I could go in there for a round and try to finish them off and if I didn’t I was dead. They’re helping me out (with the cardio issue) a lot.”

At UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Sandhagen on March 25 in San Antonio, Texas, Pineda (27-14) will look to notch his first win in over two years when he takes on Tucker Lutz (12-2) in a preliminary 145-pound bout.

“I’ve just got to keep pushing forward on the guy,” Pineda said of Lutz. “He’s never been finished, and I’ve always finished everybody, so it will be a good challenge. I’m trying to finish this guy and break his thing; he’s never been finished, so it is like a perfect thing.

“The reason I finish my fights is because I’m always pushing forward. I’m never backing off. I’m always pushing forward and going for the finish off those scrambles.”

Having had difficulty the last couple years getting back on track in MMA, Pineda is not looking past March 25 towards anything further down the line.

“I’m going one fight at a time,” said Pineda. “I’ve got to take care of my mind, take care of this fight, then see what happens.”