Over the course of the first four years of his career, bantamweight up and comer Eli Tamez was able to average about two bouts a year, but since 2015, he has not fought once.
As Tamez explains it, his desire to improve played a big part in his decision to take so much time off before getting back into fighting in 2017.
“This will actually be my first fight back in two years,” Tamez told MMAWeekly.com. “My last fight was in Legacy FC back in February two years ago almost. I fought Saul Elizondo and won by split-decision.
“I wanted to take off to just focus on different aspects of my game and just try to evolve more. I think most people want to fight as much as possible, and they’re not learning anything. I’m coming out a whole different fighter.”
For his first fight back, Tamez (9-0) will take on fellow top prospect Ulyses Aguila (6-1) in a main card 135-pound bout at Legacy Fighting Alliance 1 on Friday in Dallas.
“I feel like it’s a good comeback fight,” said Tamez of facing Aguila. “I feel like I’m better than him all around. I know he’s more of a Jiu-Jitsu person. I’ve seen him submit most of the people he’s fought. But I’m not afraid of that at all.”
Being undefeated and facing one of the fellow rising stars in his division, Tamez was asked if he feels pressure to remain on his strong start.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure,” Tamez said. “I have a job and I make good money, so fighting is just kind of extra for me.
“I know as long as I keep on fighting, there’s going to be a time where I’ll eventually lose. I think that’s what makes me dangerous. I don’t have that extra added pressure. I don’t need this money. I don’t need fighting. It’s just kind of an extra thing for me.”
While Tamez doesn’t view fighting as his primary career, he still has things he wants to accomplish in MMA and he has set his mind towards achieving in 2017.
“Definitely my goal for this next year would be to make it to the UFC,” said Tamez. “I like setting goals. First I wanted to be 5-0, and then I wanted to fight on TV, now I want to be 10-0, and after that, there’s nothing really left but being in the UFC.
“I feel like that’s another notch on my belt, just to say I did it and see how I do. There’s not going to be any pressure there. It’s going to be another thing that I can tell my kids that anything you set your mind to, you can accomplish it.”