Adversity can make or break an individual. The results of the clash come down to how one responds to the challenge. Resurfacing after a year hiatus, Ultimate Fighter 15 veteran, Vinc Pichel (12-2) will be making his return to UFC 252. Pichel’s return to the octagon was a steep path defined by many setbacks that caused a delay in his fight career progression. After his submission loss to Gregor Gillespie at UFC Fight Night 131, Pichel disappeared from the fight scene.
His absence would be as a result of an injury suffered from a hit and run accident. Healed from his injuries, Pichel made his return to action in 2019, securing a unanimous decision victory over Roosevelt Roberts at UFC on ESPN 3.
Motivated by the victory, Pichel wasted no time preparing for his next battle, which was scheduled to take place at UFC Fight Night 163: Moscow. Sadly, Pichel’s fight in Russia would not take place, as he was on the receiving end of another injury. Regrettably, “From Hell” Pichel’s would find himself once again sidelined for the remainder of 2019.
“The reason for my absence from 2018 to 2019 after the Gillespie fight was, I was involved in a hit-and-run accident,” Pichel told MYMMANEWS. In 2019, I was supposed to fight on the Russia card but sustained a hip injury during camp, which would require me to have surgery. Thankfully, I am now fully healthy and ready to fight.”
Fully recovered, Pichel is back in fight mode, training for his upcoming battle at UFC 252. However, the lightweight fighter finds himself facing another challenge. Dealing with state restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic has rendered many businesses, including gyms, inoperative. Luckily, the guidelines have done little to stop the preparation of Pichel’s return to the UFC stage.
“There is a lot of bullshit going on here where I live in California with the governor keeping gyms closed. It has created a small issue for me. It’s hard to find training partners, and people are still cautious about being around other people. However, the core people that I train with have been here to support me, which makes things less hard getting ready for my upcoming fight.”
Coming back from a long layoff, Pichel feels a sense of appreciation and satisfaction being able to once again do what he loves. Pichel’s passion has motivated him to embark on a challenging quest, testing his skills against top fight tier talents of the UFC lightweight division. Pichel’s dream request will come to fruition at UFC 252. Standing across from the octagon, Pichel will be facing Jim Miller. 32-14 in his pro standing, taking the fight on short notice, Jim Miller has always been regarded as a game breed competitor. In contrast to Pichel, Miller has been competing consistently, recently scoring a first-round submission armbar victory over Roosevelt Roberts at UFC on ESPN 11. Miller’s consistency vs. Pichel’s hiatus leaves a lingering query of Pichel’s chances of walking away with the victory. The fight count analytics doesn’t faze Pichel.
“Ain’t no fight like a tough fight,” Pichel said. “Anyone on the other side of the cage from me will be in for a fight. I believe my striking and fighting ability will give me the advantage over Miller. I don’t care how consistent he is. I am a born fighter ready to fight at any time.”
Healthy and stronger than ever, by overcoming two years of turbulent hardships, Vinc Pichel is reaping the reward of overcoming adversity, as he now finds himself back in action at UFC 252. Walking away with a victory over Jim Miller holds valuable implications for Pichel’s ascent in the lightweight division. While the battle results can sway in either fighter’s favor, “Jim Miller vs Vinc Pichel” is a top candidate for “Fight of the Night,” as Pichel aims to put on the performance of his life to being recognized as one of the best in the world.