Kyle Bochniak, like most people, had a difficult 2020.
At the tail end of 2019, Bochniak was released from the UFC. The fan-favorite went 2-5 inside the Octagon but had entertaining fights against Zabit Magomedsharipov, Charles Rosa, Jeremy Kennedy, and others. However, he knew he wasn’t fighting up to his ability and wasn’t surprised when he was released.
After he was released, Kyle Bochniak took a step back to see if he still wanted to do this. After a quick talk with those around him, he knew he still had the fire in him. Then, after his grandfather passed away from COVID-19, Bochniak’s fire only grew and knew he has to continue fighting.
“I was cut I believe the last month of 2019. After talking to my family, my wife, and my coach, we realized the fire for fighting wasn’t over and we wanted to try and get back to the UFC,” Bochniak said to MyMMANews. “We got a matchup in April for Taura and COVID hit and everything shut down. Everything was getting pushed back and I ended up waiting for over a year trying to get a fight. Then, my grandfather passed away due to COVID as well and he was my biggest supporter in MMA. I wanted to get back in the ring for him. That drove me to get a fight and get a win and get back to the UFC. 2021 came around and we got the XMMA offer and I jumped on it.”
Bochniak got his first fight in over a year last Saturday as he battled Caio Uruguai at XMMA. In the first round, Uruguai rocked the UFC veteran but Bochniak knew he worked too hard to lose again. After losing the first round, Bochniak came out strong and won the second and third round to win a decision.
Although the win was impressive, Kyle Bochniak is uncertain if it was enough to get him back in the UFC.
“It was so crazy man. I wanted to feel this kid out, just find my groove after not fighting for over a year. Well, all of a sudden, I remember tasting blood in my mouth, not knowing where I am at, and being like what the hell happened? I started to come on at the end of the first round and I knew I had to finish strong,” Bochniak said. “I re-grouped, started to pick my shots, and ended strong. Then, we go to the scorecards and I’m confident I won, but you never know with judges. I knew he rocked me in the first, but the second and third rounds were mine. But, I was let down because the UFC wants finishes and I don’t know if that was enough to get back to the UFC.”
If Bochniak doesn’t get signed, he knows he is a candidate to be a short notice replacement. However, Bochniak is looking to get back in there soon and is hoping to headline the next XMMA event if possible.
Regardless, Bochniak knows he will likely need another fight and a win, and once he does that, he is confident his second stint in the UFC will be much different.
“I’m always training, I have to let my body heal and hopefully return around April. The UFC just wants to see me string some wins together. Even though I was fighting the cream of the crop, I wasn’t putting things together. There are levels to this and I just had to build my confidence together,” Kyle Bochniak concluded. “I know if someone gets hurt and the UFC needs a guy on short notice, I’m at the top of the list. It isn’t the UFC though, maybe Bellator, PFL, ONE, the door is open with this win. I could fight anyone of those guys in the UFC. To me, I’m better than half of the featherweights.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime