Chris Gutierrez is ‘healthy’ and ready for UFC Fight Night.
Chris Gutierrez weighs in for the Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale (Zuffa LLC/ Getty Images)
On May 30, UFC featherweight Chris Gutierrez will take on Vince Morales to kick off the preliminary card at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas, NV.
This will be his first fight back after tearing his ACL during the final round of his battle against Geraldo de Freitas last August. Although he ultimately won the fight by decision, Gutierrez had to cope with this loss after just his third bout in the UFC.
After taking time off to recover from the knee injury, Gutierrez says that he is back and ready to put on a show.
“It’s been seven, eight months, and it’s been a long road,” said Gutierrez in an interview with Fightlete’s Sean Lennon. “I’m back, and I’m healthy. I learned so much about my body. I let my body heal…and I am excited.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UFC has taken extreme precautions and will continue to host events without fans. The lack of spectators does not matter to Gutierrez, as he plans to keep his attention fixed on one person only.
“I don’t fight the crowd of fans,” Gutierrez told Lennon. “It’s just me and Vince. At the end of the day, it is just me and my opponent.”
Since his injury in August, Gutierrez has spent equal time recovering and training, staying healthy and in shape so he would be ready to get back in the ring when the time came.
“I took precautions,” Gutierrez said. “I wasn’t out partying. I wasn’t out going to peoples’ houses. I just stay to myself and close to my teammates. We made a pact to train every day and keep active.”
Once the quarantine started, that pact with his teammates would be crucial in keeping Gutierrez in fighting shape. Without access to a large training camp, he had to adjust to small groups and limited resources to prepare. Despite the challenges and setbacks created by COVID-19 and personal injury, Gutierrez’s mindset never changed.
“Every fight, whether it is in the UFC or not, is an important fight,” Gutierrez said. “I am not taking Vince easy, and I’m sure he’s not taking me easy either. I am going in there and training like he is a world champion.”
The UFC had to change the way operations are done to maintain a safe environment for the fighters and staff involved. UFC 249 in Jacksonville marked the first live American professional sporting event in almost two months. Now the UFC is heading back to Las Vegas, and Gutierrez is happy to be a part of this moment in history.
“The UFC is making history,” he said to Lennon. “They are the only professional athlete entertainment right now, worldwide.”
Gutierrez will hit the octagon in the UFC Apex Center on Saturday, May 30, for the fourth UFC fight of his career.