While it’s been a year since lightweight Vinc Pichel last stepped into the UFC Octagon, the layoff was not something he had intended to take.
Following his win over Roosevelt Roberts at UFC on ESPN 3 in June of last year, Pichel was sidelined due to an injury, and then had his return further pushed back thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“After the fight with Roosevelt, I was supposed to have a fight on November 4 but I had suffered a hip injury that required surgery,” Pichel told MMAWeekly.com. “I had hip surgery last December, and was in physical therapy trying to recoup from that injury.”
With the coronavirus lockdown, Pichel’s return to training was dampened, but he was able to work through it as best he could and get back into fighting shape for a return this summer.
“My gym got closed down,” said Pichel. “That’s definitely been a huge thorn in our side for training and whatnot. Since then things have been pretty good for me.
“I haven’t had many issues. I’ve been training with this camp the last few months, and haven’t had too much trouble, luckily. I’ve been training, getting stronger, building myself back up, and I’m ready to fight again.”
At UFC 252 this Saturday in Las Vegas, Pichel (12-2) will look to continue where he left off last year when he takes on Jim Miller (32-14) in the featured preliminary bout.
“It’s kind of a classic striker versus grappler situation,” Pichel said. “Jim Miller likes to stand and bang, which is awesome, I really like that, so hopefully it turns into a good fight of him getting hit and then trying to grapple me the whole time.”
Following a forced year off from fighting, Pichel is set on closing out his 2020 as actively as possible.
“After this fight, after I beat Miller, I hope I don’t get any injuries and I’m good and I can fight right again,” said Pichel. “If I can fight again this year I’m right out there. If I don’t suffer any injuries I’m ready to get back fighting.”