Contender Series: Toby Misech expects all-out brawl against Ricky Palacios
Hawaiian featherweight Toby Misech (10-5) has waited his entire life for one moment. On the eve of episode four of season 2 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, that moment is almost upon him.
Growing up in Hawaii, Misech always had the competitive nature in his blood. His knack for combat began not in a cage, but on a basketball court of all places. A self-described “punchy kid” on the court, Misech was always looking for a good altercation.
With his older brother a black belt in kyokushin karate, it’s only logical Misech would follow in his footsteps. Fifteen professional fights later and here we are — on the brink of Misech achieving combat sports greatness. It’s been a long, hard road, but one Misech is glad he took. The 30-year-old is one impressive victory away from putting his name on the dotted line of a UFC contract.
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After a fight fell through earlier this year, Misech’s wife was the first to notify him of the opportunity when it arose. Misech was not expecting such a big chance to present itself when it did.
“It kind of did catch me off guard because I was right off another fight in California,” said Misech in an interview with MMA Today. “Then that fight and the whole card got cancelled. I was like, oh man there are no other fights. I was getting ready to go for a run and my wife came outside.”
“She was like ‘hey, they’re trying to confirm the fight.'” continued Misech.
“I was like, what fight?”
“She said, ‘The Dana White’s contender fight.'”
“I’m like, are you for real?”
“I looked at the text and was like whaaat,” laughed Misech. “During the run, my body felt calm. I was running fast and I couldn’t even feel it.”
The celebration only went on for so long. Soon after the fight was presented to Misech, he cracked down and began training. Misech needs to win on Tuesday night — and he needs to do so impressively.
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Pertaining to his fate, Misech only holds half of the cards. The other half is held by his fight night foe, Combate Americas‘s Ricky Palacios (9-1).
“I actually didn’t watch too much video once I found out who [I was facing],” said Misech. “I watched a couple of short clips and was like: Okay. He’s a good fighter, he’s aggressive, and he likes to bring it. So it’s a perfect fight for me and for the fans.”
Not knowing specifically how the bout is going to play out, Misech has a sense that it regardless of the ending, it will be a fan-pleasing affair.
“[Fans] can expect an all-out brawl,” said Misech. “That’s what I feel. His style and my style together is going to make for an exciting fight. I honestly feel this fight isn’t going to go to the decisions. The judges won’t have to work for this fight. It’s one of us going down.”
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Sitting cageside come fight time will be none other than the ultimate boss: UFC President Dana White. Misech doesn’t feel any extra added pressure for this bout, despite the extra sets of eyeballs that will be on this fight.
“For me right now, the way I’m feeling is that I’m going to go out there and do me,” explained Misech. “So far, I’ve been getting finishes, exciting crowds, and putting on good fights. So I’m just going to keep doing me. Hopefully he enjoys it.”
Misech is yet another example of the grandiose influx of Hawaiian fighters that is taking the UFC by storm. In his younger years, he was a neighbor of BJ Penn, so he witnessed firsthand the evolution of Hawaiian MMA as a whole. Misech also stresses how important it is for him to become a part of that history.
“[A UFC contract] would mean everything to me,” said Misech, sincerely. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this. Even with Max [Holloway] as champ, BJ a legend, and all of these other guys in the UFC, I still feel like Hawaii isn’t getting the exposure we need. It would be a lot to keep adding on to that.”
“Thank you to my wife for everything she’s done for me and my kids letting me train. She’s a fighter so she knows what has to be done. She doesn’t give me grief about it. Thanks to my coach Bob Ostovich and Jesus Is Lord Gym. Thank you to my whole team and my coach Ross Ebanez who has been helping me out too. Thank you to Jason House, my management, and Team Iridium for getting me this opportunity. Thanks to Dana White for giving me this opportunity. Thank you to all of my sponsors who joined me for this!” – 2 Quick
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