Albert Morales Looking to Return to the UFC with Win on Liddell-Ortiz 3
Golden Boy promotions is putting on the trilogy between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz this weekend. Many fighters are looking to gather a lot of attention and gather some eyes on their careers to get them ahead or get them back on track. Albert Morales is looking for just that. After stints in the UFC and in Bellator, he’s looking to get on track and get back into the UFC.
Albert Morales stand’s by his nickname as “The Warrior.” He is no stranger to adversity. His beginnings in MMA isn’t the most glorious, but it’s what got him to the show. “I wasn’t into MMA early or anything like that. I was introduced to UFC at a very young age. My step-father trained at the Gracie academy and he used to show me the first UFC as a kid. It was somewhere around fifth grade. I watched The Ultimate Fighter and everything, but I never thought about being a fighter. Then, I actually went to jail. I was a troubled kid. I found myself going to jail a couple times. The last time I was in jail, I was in there for about a year.”
“My girlfriend, soon to be wife, was pregnant with my first daughter. I was in there thinking I was going to do a lot of time. Then, I ended up getting blessed and getting just a year. I was just sitting back and reflecting just trying to figure out what I was going to do. We had a conference area night and the guards allowed us to stay up a little later and they left the TV on. Over here in California, we had FX, which was where the Ultimate Fighter on. It was a movie channel but after the movies were off, the Ultimate Fighter came on. What originally happened is whenever the Ultimate Fighter came on, they’d cut it off immediately. They didn’t want the inmates fighting or anything.”
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“This one night they left it on. We’re playing cards and I’m like, ‘Yo man, lets just chill out, lets watch these fights.’ I guess the guards were watching them. That was the day that saved my life. I was watching and I told my boys, ‘You know what? I think I can do this. They were laughing because they know who I am. I tell them when I get out, I’m going to do this. That same weekend I got a visit from my girlfriend and I told her when I get out, I’m going to be a fighter. She said, ‘Whatever you got to do to stay out of trouble.’ I got out of jail and found the first gym I could find.”
Back to basics
Now that he’s back and ready to get in the win column once more, Morales is full steam ahead. “Nothing specific honestly. I’ve fought the best in the world and that’s where I belong. I just got to go out there and be the best Albert I am. Obviously, I’m not underestimating him, if anything, I always over estimate my opponents. I train like I’m fighting for the title. I’m training like I’m fighting TJ Dillashaw. Not training like TJ for this guy, he’s more of a grappler. I’m training more like I would for Khabib. But it’s the intensity I am training at. I’m imagining I can’t be grabbed by this guy. I got to get out and trade with him.”
Oscar De La Hoya, no matter how much flack he gets from fans, is one of the most enigmatic fighters of all time. A legend who has one of the best resumes in all of boxing. Picking his brain is something everyone involved with fighting in any capacity would love the opportunity to do. Albert Morales intends to as well.
“I haven’t talked to him yet, but I can’t wait to pick his brain. That guy has one of the best jabs in all of all time.”
As for the gravity of the card he’s on, Morales, as mentioned earlier, grew up watching Tito and Chuck duke it out. He admits his hype for actually fighting on his card is another check mark on the bucket list. “It definately does feel weird. Just hearing those two names put together on a card again. Honestly, bro, it’s just a dream come true. I’ve talked about this before. I got the Joe Rogan interview, I got the Bruce Buffer calling my name. At least I can say I’m fighting on a card with Chuck Liddell, one of the fighters that I looked up to.”
The MMA world is wondering just how big of a role Golden Boy is going to be in their sport. Having the biggest star right now in the sport of boxing, Canelo Alvarez, Oscar and Golden Boy has the resources to make a dent in the MMA world if done properly. But, Albert isn’t signed to a multi-fight contract and doesn’t know if the promotion will continue it’s MMA endeavors. “Who knows? I think it’s just one card. I think this might be a feeling out process with Golden Boy. Who knows? We don’t even know if they’re going to have a second one. We’ll see though. My goal is to get back to holds the heaviest title, and the heaviest title is held in the UFC.”
Another big issue in our sport is fighter pay. A lot of fighters feel like they aren’t getting their fair share with all the hard work they put in for the promotion, specifically the UFC. While Albert Morales couldn’t disclose how much he made at the time we talked he did say that it’s more than a lot of promotions outside of the UFC are paying.
Back to the Big Show
How does he plan on getting back to the biggest stage? It’s simple really. “The only thing you can do, and that’s win, bro. You got to get in there and win win win win win. So that’s what I got to do. Get back to my winning ways. A lot of people don’t understand, I got to the UFC pretty damn quick. I was only a professional for a year. Most of my fights are within a year of being professional. All short notice fights. I’m not scared to fight anybody. I want to be a legend and for kids to look up to me. I want coaches to tell kids, ‘Yo, thats what you want to be as a fighter.’ Even if it’s just my striking, my style, my jiu jitsu. I’m just trying to be remembered forever.”