The year 2018 has not been particularly kind to Hawaii’s Yancy Medeiros.
After coming up short to Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in February, the fan favorite sought to get back on track opposite “Platinum” Mike Perry at UFC 226 in July. Regrettably, this plan was derailed when he sustained a rib injury, and he has not fought since.
Speaking on the latest stacked episode of BJPENN Radio, Yancy Medeiros opened up on how disappointed he was to miss out on his planned battle with Perry, and on his long-awaited return to action.
“I was real butt hurt about that fight man,” he said. “I was looking forward to it, I felt like this is the best Yancy people are going to see.
“I think I was way more excited for that fight than any of the fans were,” he added later in the interview. “Not because of who I fighting but because I was going to … like I said I was expecting to see the best Yancy in that Octagon. Not for everyone else but for me. That’s the downfall when you got expectations and things don’t happen.”
Yancy Medeiros also opened up on the injury itself. Apparently, it caught him by surprise after a routine jiu jitsu session.
“[It was] a fractured rib,” he said. “It still pokes out. I mean, it’s 100 percent [now], but you can tell that my rib was fucked up, you know?”
“I was in jiu jitsu and I was going on adrenaline and then just, yeah, after practice I was like ‘what the hell,'” he explained. “I couldn’t breathe. Every time I would try and inhale I’d get a sharp pain in the front and the back, and I’m like ‘maybe I’ll sleep it off, it’ll be alright.'”
“I had a hard time taking off my fucking shirt.”
While this injury represented a definite speed bump for Yancy Medeiros, he’s now back to training — but not just in the gym. He says he’s also been training in the jungle.
“Bro, I’m going to be straight up, I started training in the fucking jungle,” he said. “Seriously. I recovered and I was like, ‘no, I’m on one.’ I was on Drake shit, bro, I wasn’t stopping. You know what I mean? I’m too passionate about being a martial artist.
“Shit doesn’t happen to you, shit just happens,” he continued. That’s how I took it. Just like I said bro, I woke up, went into the jungle and I’m on fucking gorilla shit.”
“Bro, I’m swinging from tree to tree. They say that the lion’s the king of the jungle, ain’t no fucking lions in the jungle bro. I’ve been training there. I’m dead serious bro, I am on gorilla shit. Like I said, bro, after my injury, I fucking woke up, I was on Bruce Lee shit, I was like, ‘Nah, I ain’t going to get bitter about this,’ because I was bitter, I was fucking bitter that I had to pull out of that fight. I was like, ‘Nah, I ain’t going to be bitter.’ I live up to my motto, ‘get better not bitter.'”
Medeiros’ recent training has been so intensive that he’s lost quite a bit of weight. As such, he’s decided to leave the welterweight division and return to his former haunts in the 155-pound lightweight division.
“I’m training so hard, I’m getting to 155 whether UFCs going to accept that or not,” he said. “Just letting everybody know, this gorilla is going to 155.”
“Follow my journey bro, because I’m telling you, I’m in the jungle and I’m making that weight, I’m [going to] be 160 before I even need to be … I’m gonna be 155 before I even need to be 155.”
As far as potential opponents in the perilous UFC lightweight division go, Medeiros isn’t particularly picky.
“I don’t care who it is,” he said. “They’re asking me what match ups make sense. Anyone 155, top 10, that’s it. I don’t call people out.”
“Last-minute replacement, first choice, second choice, last choice, if you 155 and you’re ready, on the table, put it on the table. My manager’s knows what’s up, UFC knows what’s up, I’m ready for anybody.”
For Medeiros, the main priority is simply fighting soon.
“I need to get booked,” he said. “I need to get booked yesterday.”
“My return date needs to be yesterday,” he added. “I’m ready for any option but I’d love to get on those January cards, I’d love to fight on the end of the year cards.”
Whatever the case, Yancy Medeiros is excited to show off the fruits of his jungle training, and to unleash his inner gorilla inside the cage.
“You ever seen a weak gorilla? Exactly bro. Exactly.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/26/2018.