Welcome back readers and to say today is a special day is an understatement! Today we are very pleased to say that one of our good friends and straight badass UFC fighter Vinc Pichel (9-1) is finally BACK!!!! It has been a hot minute since we have seen Vinc in the cage (3 years) but he is back and ready to get back to where he left off and that is winning! He will be getting back in the octagon at UFC Live on FS1 on June 10 in New Zealand! We were lucky enough to take him away from training for a minute to sit down with us, so let’s get right to it… after you get over to all social media outlets and follow him @FromHellPichel. Here we go!
WELCOME BACK!!!! Man, it’s putting it lightly when we say you have literally been “through hell” in the last 3 years. We have spoken a bunch over that time but can you just recap it and catch our readers up.
Pichel: Well where do I start? 2014 started good, I was already coming back from a one year layoff due to an injury from my first loss of my career. I fought in January 2014 against Garrett Whitley and won unanimous. Then in May of 2014, I fought Anthony Njokuani with the same result. However in the fight with Anthony, in the first 30 seconds he broke my left orbital which gave me double vision. If you want to know what that fight was like for me try fighting someone with your eyes crossed and let me know how that goes.
I needed 3 surgeries on my face and eye to help fix my vision. Then I was forced to go back to work or lose my job after just a few weeks with my double vision for Swink Towing in Simi, installing batteries for AAA. Then in November of 2014 I suffered a shoulder injury on the job and needed major surgery. I went through a two year workman’s comp battle that had halted my training and my recovery due to the fact that I am a fighter and they did not want to accept responsibility for my on the job injury. Not only that but they were limiting me from going to the gym and workout the way I needed to recover the fastest.
So during that battle my life was no income living in California. I was living off my fiancé Kelly and savings from fighting. Then I had a tough break up with my fiancé Kelly who I was supposed to marry in 2015 which was really hard for me. I moved back home to Simi Valley and had to basically start my life over. I had to quit my job at AAA because of harassment and now am working in the IBEW 952 electrical union going to school twice a week and training at nights because it’s what I have to do to do what I love. So that’s my life now work during the day school and training at night. And that my friend, is the last three years of my life in a nutshell with a lot more obstacles and hiccups along the way but you get the jist.
Well ok… ummm… glad you made it through as lesser men would have crumbled! I know we spoke a couple of times just checking in and yeah that was no fun, but you’re back not only as a fighter but you seem to be back on track outside the cage too! Now you finally seem to be in a much better place both physically, emotionally and mentally. For the first time in 3 years do you feel like your back to your normal self or even a more improved version?
Pichel: I honestly feel like I had died and was brought back and given another chance to do what I love. I feel physically great, mentally stronger then ever and blessed to be able to do what I love again.
That analogy actually makes perfect sense! Three years can be a lifetime in many sports including MMA. What have you done over this time to make sure you are ready to get back in that cage, do you foresee any “ring rust” or any things that could hold you back?
Pichel: Yes it is a lifetime in MMA! I don’t believe in ring rust! Most people have been trained to fight. I was born to fight so it’s then that I feel the most comfortable and at home.
Yeah seeing you with cat photos on IG and a normal 9-5 didn’t really seem normal haha, you need that violence! Now we get to finally see the return June 10th at UFC Fight Night 110 as you will face off vs Damien Brown, a guy who is coming off 2 wins including a KO of Arzamendia at UFC 201. Talk to us about how this scrap came to be and how did the talk go when you finally got to tell the UFC brass that you were healthy and wanted back in the cage?
Pichel: Damien Brown is a tough dude and has some momentum behind him. I actually got a call about the fight with Brown from my manager and said yes almost instantly. I’ve been trying to fight since December but had conflicting issues that wouldn’t allow it, so soon as I was given a chance I took it!
Good because the game and your fans needed you back! When you look at the tape of Brown, what do you see and how do you feel your knockout skill set (7 wins via KO) stacks up vs the submission game of Brown?
Pichel: He looks like a good all around fighter. He’s a vet so you know he’s tough physically and mentally. My plan is to use my size and reach to keep him outside and get a KO!
One word that can describe what you foresee in the cage on June 10th?
Pichel: Controlled rage!
LOVE IT! So you are back in the gym training for the fight, what is the best part of being back in the gym and working? What did you miss the most and the least?
Pichel: Well I never really left the gym. Just took the time off to work on myself as a fighter. What I do miss is the feeling of having a fight. The feeling of being sore every day and knowing in the end it’s all going to pay off. What I don’t miss is the dieting and weight cut. I’m a big dude for lightweight and I love food so extra fuel for my fire when I fight.
Man you had time to eat all you wanted hahaha. So it’s been 3 years, what does the return of Vinc Pichel bring to the UFC that it has been missing and what does this mean to the people in the Lightweight division?
Pichel: Hell of course! Now that I’m back in there I’m going to continue where I left off, dominating!
I am standing up with the Daniel Bryan “YES” chant going and no one in my office gets it hahah. Now there have been a lot of fans that have stuck through the hiatus with you and are eagerly counting down the days till the 10th. For example my wife wouldn’t stop asking about you…. Thanks your name is popular around the house. What does it mean to you that you have such dedicated fans and if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
Pichel: Well of course you don’t want to let your fans down, another added motivation. I love all my fans! It’s because of them I fight the way I do and give it my all every second. I love every single fan that has stuck with me through my tough time.
And I am sure they still love you! Ok man I know the time is limited so before we let you go, are there any people or sponsors you would like to mention?
Pichel: Yes! Would like to thank my coaches Brian Peterson and Peter Cunningham for all their hard work and dedication to me and my fighting career. Without them I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I wanna thank Paul and everyone at Revgear, they’ve been with me since the beginning. I would like to thank Kenny Bond and the Bond brothers and all of my training partners at Street Sports and to Rich and everyone at Sityodtong in Azusa,CA also like to thank my friends and family for being there for me. Last but not least my fans for sticking by me and for all the love and support they’ve given me.
There you have it fight fans, a man that has literally been through hell and back and will be bringing the carnage on June 10! Make sure to get over to all social media outlets and follow @fromHellPichel and @artofmma (IG) and @theartofmma (Twitter). Until next time fight fans!