By: King Eddie
It was a shocking upset when Yancy Medeiros defeated Poai Suganuma in a Destiny event that rocked the islands. At the time, Medeiros was an up and comer that was really taking on his first big challenge. Now here we are, several big challenges later, and Yancy is set to rise to an even higher echelon as he has been signed to the UFC and will make his octagon debut at UFC 159 on April 27 in New Jersey.
After three victories in Strikeforce, it was disconcerting that Yancy's name wasn't on the UFC's list of migrating fighters. But now that he is officially announced to the roster, the MMA world seems to make a lot more sense. And much to the shock of some of his original fans, Medieros will be making his UFC debut as a lightweight. That's right. . . . a lightweight.
After battling is out in the cage at 205 and 185, Yancy's latest transformation has him on a bullets path to lightweight contender-ship. As his fanbase will now likely grow, few will ever know the pride that Hawaii MMA fans feel for the wondrous journey Yancy has undergone thus far. From rising to the top of our local circuit, to taking his training to Cesar Gracie's fight team, Medeiros has progressed in leaps and bounds over the passing years.
In speaking with Medeiros, he is supremely confident in his role in the road that lies ahead.
"I just want to focus on myself mentally and physically. I have to be the best me that I can be and the rest will follow."
The booking came as a slight surprise to Yancy, considering he was not on the Strikeforce to UFC mover list. But in the twist of fate that placed him on the UFC 159 card, He believes it was all part of the plan.
"I'm stoked to have this chance to represent Hawaii. I feel the best way that I can do that is to represent myself well and make a statement. With this fight I have plenty of time to do it the right way, you know. Peak at the right time. Be the best me on fight night."
Medeiros will be facing Jackson-Winklejohn product, Rustam Khabilov on what will likely be one of the biggest fight cards of the year. Headlined by Jon Jones vs Chael Sonnen, all eyes of the MMA world will be affixed to this card. But the added attention only fuels Yancy's fire to make a statement in the UFC. With his opponent already relishing praise from his last bout in the UFC, Yancy must effectively steal this man's thunder. And that is exactly what he plans to do.
Having won his last fight via suplex destruction, Khabilov is riding high. But while he enjoys the hype, Medeiros is putting in the labor and creating an opponent that the Russian will not expect. As of late Hawaii seems to be on a role, getting multiple opportunities to demonstrate our fighter's abilities in the UFC cage. This is just one more notch in the belt for MMA in Hawaii, and it couldn't have come to a more deserving veteran of the sport. Congratulations to Yancy on this amazing opportunity. We are all very proud and know that you will represent the islands supremely.