On Saturday, Makaha’s Yancy Medeiros will make his return to fighting after a 13-month hiatus.
Medeiros (15-6-0) will open the main card of UFC Fight Night 167 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, where he’ll face Lando Vanatta (10-4-2).
Medeiros has fought just twice in the last 25 months, which is the most inactive period of his career. In the previous four years, he fought 11 times, which created some nagging injuries. As he returns from his break, the 32-year-old feels in his prime both physically and mentally.
“I was always a happy, joyful individual so I just stayed around all of that,” Medeiros told KHON2’s Rob DeMello. “Especially when I was trying to fix myself and I wasn’t getting any fights, you know? You got to be around the people that always kept me that way. Fortunately Hawaii was just that. It’s always that way, it’s like no matter how bad my day is, I just look around and I have the best support.
“I have the best friends, I have the best coaches. I have braddahs like you that just want to connect with me and it’s like, everybody that I connect with in Hawaii, I feel like I’m there.”
The connection to Hawaii has also given Medeiros extra motivation to represent his home state when he’s on the big stage.
“Zeke Lau, Max Holloway, Kolten Wong, Isiah (Kiner-Falefa), all these guys that are from different sports, and it’s like we all represent Hawaii,” Medeiros said of his training mates at Tactical Strength and Conditioning under coach Darin Yap in Honolulu. “It’s Iike different tribes but same vibes. It’s always, we’re out there and I guess it’s like a chip in the shoulder, like we’re from Hawaii, we ain’t missing a step. We there, Hawaii is there and I’m always trying to promote that in every aspect, not just sports wise, but our culture”