James Vick has arrived. He’s in his first UFC most important occasion this Saturday, on the poster, and about to take a leap into a brand new stage of his profession.

For sure, he’s a bit of bit enthusiastic about going through Justin Gaethje in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“It’s nice,” he mentioned. “It solely took ten fights and 12 years.”

Vick laughs, clearly letting nothing get in the way in which of his good temper, not even the speak that may undoubtedly name him an in a single day success ought to he beat the Arizona motion hero this weekend.

“It’s loopy in the event that they suppose I’m some sort of in a single day success once I’ve been grinding for years now,” he mentioned, realizing that he’s taken an extended route right here than most who’ve put collectively a 9-1 UFC file. However after his stint on season 15 of The Final Fighter, Vick has stored his focus tight, with the objective not being a legion of Twitter followers or fame, however one thing extra essential, one thing he’s been chasing from the primary day he started coaching.

“I keep in mind once I first went into the health club and began coaching, I instructed all people the second or third day I used to be there that I used to be gonna be a world champion,” he mentioned. “Folks checked out me like I used to be silly. They didn’t suppose I’d ever be a professional fighter. However I didn’t signal as much as be second finest at something. One thing can delay my future, however nothing can cease my future. And I actually imagine it’s my future to be a world champion.”

The 31-year-old Texan has all the time been large on writing down his targets and visualizing them, but he admits that even after placing collectively a four-fight profitable streak that included a call win over Francisco Trinaldo and three finishes of Joe Duffy, Polo Reyes and Abel Trujillo, he was questioning when his time would come. It wasn’t speculated to be this weekend, as he was initially scheduled to combat Paul Felder in July. However when fellow light-weight contender Al Iaquinta fell out of the Gaethje combat, alternative knocked for “The Texecutioner.”

“I had some doubts at instances – not about my talent set, however in regards to the alternative,” mentioned Vick. “Was I ever gonna get the chance? Then happily I used to be gifted this chance as a result of Al Iaquinta couldn’t combat. However I’ve all the time been prepared for it. I really feel prefer it’s shut and I positively really feel that subsequent yr I can be a world champion. I imagine that with all my coronary heart.”

Generally all the things falls into place when it’s speculated to. Yeah, Vick considered combating Felder after which having the remainder of the summer time to spend time together with his girlfriend and their four-month-old son James Jr., however there was little question that when he acquired his shot, he wasn’t going to cross it by.

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“I used to be having the summer time to relax, however that is all the time my most important precedence and I really like combating,” he mentioned. “I reside for these items and that is a part of the sacrifice. As a professional athlete, you solely have a brief window to have a profession, and I’m prepared to go year-round and do no matter I’ve to do to get to my objective of being a world champion. And after Saturday, I’m gonna change my life.”

In case you’re not James Vick, it’s onerous to think about being able the place all of the years of onerous work have come all the way down to 25 minutes or much less that may change all the things. And whereas for many that might be unfathomable strain, it’s what Vick has been chasing since he first placed on the gloves.

“You win a UFC most important occasion, it’s life altering, particularly with us each ranked excessive,” he mentioned. “I win this combat and I’m one in all two fights away from a world title. However strain is for mentally weak folks. I don’t really feel any strain in any respect. In my thoughts, I may combat this dude within the yard, I may combat him wherever, however my objective is to be a world champion. I don’t care what the stage is. I’m previous all that. I’ve had ten fights within the UFC, I’m not fearful about any strain.”

It’s simple to imagine him, in addition to be pleased for him that he has his shot and his desires inside attain. This isn’t a simple enterprise, however with the ability to management your personal future is one thing everybody hopes for. It’s why by all of the ups and downs of life within the combat sport, Vick wouldn’t hesitate to help his son if he wished to observe in his footsteps at some point.

(Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)“I’d be the happiest individual alive,” Vick mentioned. “Everybody says how tough that is, however all the things in life is tough. Yeah, my physique’s tousled, however each of my brothers’ our bodies are tousled from working within the oil fields for all of the years they’ve. However combating has lifted me out of poverty. I went from a small city child in a city of three,500 folks to combating on the largest stage on this planet with solely 600 folks on this planet being within the UFC. Combating has performed all the things for me, and I’d love if my child wished to be a fighter. It’s not nearly being a fighter, it’s about what kind of man you change into on this journey of difficult your self. I’m not gonna pressure him to be a fighter, but when he needs to be, I’ll be pleased as hell if he’s.”

Yeah, you’re not gonna shake James Vick’s good temper. He made it to the place he wished to go. All that’s left is the combat. And he’s all the time had that a part of it below management.

“I perceive what’s at stake Saturday night time,” he mentioned. ‘I’m totally conscious that is both my one and solely most important occasion or one in all many most important occasions. So I’ve to carry out and I’ll. I’ll get in there and I’ll change my life on Saturday night time.”

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