Shojin Miki flew from Hawaii to Miami, Florida less than 24 hours before his Titan FC 71 bout on Friday, Aug. 6.
The Hawaiin accepted his 130-pound catchweight bout with Adrian Garcia on two-days notice. Miki even weighed in virtually through a video approved by the Florida State Athletic Commission.
It is a relief for the flyweight prospect he fell off of another event two weeks prior, due to a positive COVID-19 test.
“Overall, it definitely worked out great,” Miki said. “It really does feel like it all worked out.”
Shojin Miki knows what he signed up for
Having his Combat Night co-main event bout canceled paid off. Miki already completed his paperwork for Florida, making him an ideal choice as a late replacement.
He first heard about the opportunity to fight for Titan FC from his Hawaii Elite MMA teammate Federino Vento on Tuesday night. By Thursday morning, Miki weighed in on a video and boarded a flight to Florida later in the day.
On Friday, he makes his Titan FC debut. It will mark the first time Miki’s competed in the Sunshine State. He’s only fought in his home state of Hawaii and Japan previously.
His flight consisted of a layover at LAX in California, but Miki is confident a layover will be of little issue.
“I don’t really have a problem with jet lag, I fall asleep easily on the plane, I am probably just going to sleep the entire time on the plane and on the layover,” Miki said. “I don’t foresee any problems honestly, but if there is, no excuses. It’s a part of the game I decided to play.”
Weighing in on experience
With a 6-6 record in 12 fights, the Hawaiin sees himself as more experienced than his opponent Adrian Garcia.
Miki has faced UFC talent like Kai Kamaka III, Martin Day and Tyson Nam. He currently trains with Nam and Day at Hawaii Elite.
Garcia is 4-1 since turning professional in February 2019. He is currently on a three-fight win streak with two finishes.
Garcia’s been competing for a shorter amount of time and his opponents combine for a record 3-5 at the time he faced them.
Miki is a 24-fight veteran between his amateur and professional career. He also fought in three kickboxing bouts, five boxing matches and a number of jiu-jitsu tournaments.
“The match up with Adrian I find as a pretty even one,” Miki said. “I definitely feel like I am being seen as the underdog given being late notice and my record too. But at the very least, I feel like I do have more experience.”
Confidence is key
Miki recovered from the COVID-19 virus just a short time ago. The sickness kept him from his bout with Cleveland McLean in Orlando.
Concerned about how he felt in a three round affair, Miki tested himself to five-five-minute rounds of sparring on Wednesday night. It is out of character for Miki to spar so close to a fight, but he’s happy he did it.
“I probably should have not done it, but I decided to spar on Wednesday to see where I was at was at after being sick,” Miki said. “I gained a lot of confidence from that sparring.”
A whirlwind of three weeks comes to a close on Friday night. One of the added bonuses of fighting for Titan FC last minute is the promotion promised him another bout.
He will not only compete on UFC Fight Pass on Friday, but will compete again in the future. This is not the way Miki wrote it up, but here is.
“It’s my decision and at the end of the day, if there’s any problem, it’s on me regardless,” Miki said. “I am grateful to be fighting again.”
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.