Escovedo Considers UFC Debut ‘Biggest Opportunity’ of His Life


Cole Escovedo was ready to hang it up.

A severe staph infection had partially paralyzed him and led to an exploratory surgery around his spine. He got through that. But if he couldn’t get through his first opponent after climbing back in the cage, then he was going to call it quits.

The foe was Michael McDonald, who has since gone on to the UFC.

“It was either do it or retire at that point,” Escovedo (Pictured) said recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “I was either going to go in there and win that fight or I was going to decide that there was no more room left for me in the sport. If I couldn’t come back from that surgery and win that fight, then I probably would have just given up MMA there because it would have burst a huge mental bubble. I would have that huge wall of, ‘OK, I did everything I could and sacrificed everything I could to get here, and it wasn’t enough, so I need to move on.’”

It was enough, though. Escovedo stopped McDonald in the second round of their May 2009 encounter.

“There wasn’t a single time during that fight that I ever thought I didn’t belong here,” Escovedo said. “If anything, after the first round I felt that it was more than the right decision, that I was good to be there.”

Escovedo reeled off four more wins before getting knocked out by McDonald in a rematch. He also lost his next fight against Michihiro Omigawa, but by then Escovedo was already certain that he had a future in MMA. After getting back on track with a win over Steven Siler, he got a call from the UFC’s Sean Shelby asking if he wanted a shot in the Octagon.

“Kind of a no-brainer,” Escovedo said. “It’s one of those opportunities that you don’t ever really pass up when they come. It’s not like the UFC calls you every day. It was kind of either take it or don’t. It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.’ It was, ‘Yeah. What’s the purse?’”

Shelby also told him his opponent: touted prospect Renan “Barao.” Escovedo didn’t have time to look up info on the Brazilian; he just took the fight.

“I’ll be honest. Up until the time Sean Shelby asked me if I wanted to fight, I’d never heard of the guy,” Escovedo said of Barao. “As far as who he is and what he’s done and stuff, [I’m going off] what I found on the Internet. I know he’s got a good record, solid jiu-jitsu, a solid striker, but I’d never heard of him up until this fight. I don’t really know what to think. I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy fight. I’m not underestimating him at all. You don’t get a 25-1 record by being a nobody, but it doesn’t really matter to me because at the end of the day, numbers don’t really matter. He’s got to step into the cage and fight me just like I have to get in there with him.”

The fight is big for Barao -- it’s his UFC debut too -- but Escovedo considers it the “biggest opportunity” of his life.

“It’s going to be a milestone in my career,” Escovedo said. “It’s going to mark a new chapter and it’s going to mark a new section in my life. It’s going to be a new opportunity to better myself and better my life for my family.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:08:10).

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 15 days ago
  • 10 views

Cole Miller said before his UFC debut that he was going to use Andy Wang’s head for target practice. He did. Check out his highlight-reel KO inside. Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 16 views

There is a lot of buzz and expectation surrounding Holly Holm's official UFC debut this Saturday night in Los Angeles. The former boxing champion turned mixed martial artist will bring her undefeated read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 34 views

When Sara McMann stepped into the Octagon to face Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 170 back in February of 2014, it marked the first time that tw read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

Hours ahead of UFC 183, MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani and Marc Raimondi delve into the biggest storylines, including the return of former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, as he faces Nick Diaz read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 4 views

Anderson Silva battles Nick Diaz tonight at UFC 183, and the former UFC middleweight champion takes you inside his last training in Los Angeles before flying to Las Vegas in the eighth episode of his read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

With five wins in his last six fights heading into Saturday night, UFC 183 was Al Iaquinta's opportunity to make his statement on the big stage. And boy, did he capitalize on that opportunity. The Se read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 35 views

Let's run down the list of "Who’s Hot" and "Who’s Not" from UFC 183: "Silva vs Diaz," which took place last night (Sat., Jan. 31, 2015), nominating the biggest winners and losers from the pay-per-vie read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

UFC 183 was headlined by a matchup that could best be described as unusual. The rest of the card followed suit. Sure, some fights went to plan. Al Iaquinta's boxing was expected to best Joe Lauzon on read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

After more than a year away from the Octagon for both Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, two of the UFC's most recognizable stars finally put on a show for fans at UFC 183. It wasn't the nonstop fire figh read news >>