Shortly before being added to the PFL as a late replacement, featherweight Daniel Pineda picked up his first win of 2019 with a first-round TKO of Rey Trujillo at Fury FC 32 in May.
For Pineda, the fight went pretty much how his last few wins have gone with a quick victory, adding to his currently four-fight winning streak in the process.
“I’m not going to say it’s an easy fight, but coming out in the first round, under two minutes (left in the round), I was happy,” Pineda told MMAWeekly.com.
“I wanted to give a show. I know my last few fights have been quick finishes, so I kind of wanted to show off more stand-up, more grappling, more wrestling, but when you see the opportunity you take it and that’s what I did.”
After more than 10 years in the sport and approaching 40 fights, Pineda still feels like he is moving forward in his career and every opportunity is another opportunity for him to improve himself.
“Even though I’m older and should be getting out of shape, I’m getting better every day,” said Pineda. “I’m a little bit smarter. I have better coaches to guide min the right direction. I’m definitely an all-around better version of myself now.
“Training and fighting are things that I love. It’s no different back then than now other than being a little bit better at it. I take it day by day and a fight’s a fight.”
On Thursday in Las Vegas, Pineda (26-13) enters the PFL 2019 playoffs against Movlid Khaybulaevst (14-0-1) in a quarterfinal 140-pound main card bout, with the winner to advance to the semifinals later that evening.
“I’m just going to go out there and do my thing,” Pineda said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve lost the first round in the fight, and I’m sure it’s the same for (Khaybulaevst), so it’s going to be exciting – we’re both going to go in there and do what we have to do.
“I don’t have a plan going into it. It’s not like I’m going to shoot in on him. I’m not going to stand-up with him. I’m just going to feel it out. We’ll know the first 10 seconds what’s going to happen, and that’s what’s going to happen.”
While Pineda is looking at each fight individually, he admits that at the end of the day the goal is to win all three fights in the playoffs and close out his year as the 2019 PFL featherweight titleholder and a whole lot richer.
“I have this Russian guy who is trying to stop me from being a millionaire, and after that I have a Canadian or a Brazilian that’s trying to stop me, then after that I have another one,” said Pineda. “I see the fight that’s in front of me, but the end goal is there are three fights that I have to win.”