Escovedo Considers UFC Debut ‘Biggest Opportunity’ of His Life


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit
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 >>

Related News

  • 21 days ago
  • 50 views

After a false start, Johnny Case is ready to begin his UFC career.
Case will meet fellow lightweight Kazuki Tokudome at UFC Fight Night 52 on Sept. 20 at the Saitma Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Just days after Case agreed to fight Joe Ellenberger at UFC Fight Night 44 in June, he failed a pre-fight eye test and was pulled from the fight. The UFC then paid for him to have LASIK eye surgery and he is now good to go.
A member of Alliance MMA i more

  • 11 days ago
  • 25 views

DUBLIN -- Ilir Latifi talks about his first-round finish of Chris Dempsey at UFC Fight Night 46, moving past his loss to Gegard Mousasi, his desire to fight a top 10 fighter, the sport of hurling, and more. more

  • 28 days ago
  • 52 views

Robert Drysdale finally makes his UFC debut on Sunday night, and he decided to open up about his controversial start in the promotion in 2013.
Drysdale, a jiu-jitsu world champion and ADCC openweight champion, was set to make his promotional debut at UFC 167, but was removed from a light heavyweight bout with Cody Donovan after failing a Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) mandated out-of-competition drug test.
Ironically, Drysdale was never suspended by the commission or punished by the UFC for te more

  • 28 days ago
  • 37 views

A chance pizza delivery led Rob Font to MMA. Now he’s ready to make a name for himself against George Roop at UFC 175. Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 26 days ago
  • 44 views

Cat Zingano is cleared and ready to fight, even if it means a short-notice headliner at next month’s UFC 176 event.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC more

  • 25 days ago
  • 18 views

Bruno Santos insists it wasn’t a case of octagon jitters. Mentally, he said, he was feeling just fine.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 25 days ago
  • 59 views

LAS VEGAS – After a quick and victorious UFC debut, Rob Font declared UFC jitters “a lie,” and at least in his case, it seems true. Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 24 days ago
  • 29 views

It was a long time in the making, but ADCC absolute and IBJJF World champion Robert Drysdale's UFC debut went about as well as one could hope.
Facing Keith Berish in the opening bout of The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale card, Drysdale - the hometown Las Vegas, Nevada favorite - took control of the bout right away. The jiu-jitsu black belt level changed for a double leg takedown, which pushed Berish into the fence. The takedown proved successful and right away Drysdale went to work.
Passing almost i more

  • 24 days ago
  • 37 views

LAS VEGAS – Robert Drysdale had his UFC debut delayed from November to July because he was flagged by the NSAC for an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio this past year. Filed under: News, UFC, Videos more