Coming off a TKO loss to Doo Ho Choi at UFC Fight Night 79 last December, featherweight veteran Sam Sicilia has been waiting for a fight.
In the months since the Choi bout, Sicilia has stayed busy in the gym, and is more than eager to get back to competition.
“I didn’t want this time off, but I got it,” Sicilia said to MMAWeekly.com. “Obviously, when you get a fight announced, you up the intensity and stuff, but I haven’t wasted my time off. I’ve been training and sticking around this sport, now it’s my turn and I’m up.
“I worked a lot of Jiu-Jitsu, and sharpened up my striking and mental things, just staying focused. My year ended on a bad note, but I won two out of three, and obviously the goal is to string those wins together, so I focused on that.”
Having picked up wins in his previous two UFC bouts before the loss to Choi, Sacilia (14-6) knows he has to have a good showing when he takes on Gabriel Benitez (18-5) in a preliminary 145-pound fight at UFC Fight Night 94 in Hidalgo, Texas, on Saturday.
“I feel like I need to put him away,” said Sacilia of Benitez. “I think I should be fighting ranked guys, but you’ve got to make yourself a case. I believe I can finish this guy, and that’s what I have to go do, and I believe I will.
“There’s not going to be a lot of surprises, but it’s a fight, and you have to go in there and perform under the lights. That’s what it’s about. Obviously he’s a tough guy, he’s in the UFC, but I believe if I go in there and do my thing, I can shut him off.”
Having been waiting most of the year to fight, Sicilia is eager to make up for lost time and rebuild the momentum he had last year and work his way towards main card fights in 2016.
“The goal is to get big fights,” he said. “You want to keep your name out there. I don’t like the 10-month layoff. I want to be working. I also know I’ve got to make my case for that. I’ve got to hold up my end of the bargain and string some wins together; then I believe I’ll get some big fights.”