New Jersey (HawaiiNewsNow) - Waianae native Yancy Medeiros will look to resurrect his pro MMA career at UFC 159 this week.
The 25-year old is scheduled to fight Rustam Khabilov during the event's prelims on FX at 2pm (HST) on Saturday in New Jersey.
On June 26th, 2010, Medeiros defeated Garreth Joseph by knockout at Strikeforce: Fedor vs Werdum, improving his record to 9-0. He was set to fight John Salter at Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine, but suffered an injury during training.
The injury should have been a small bump in the road, instead the mental toll nearly derailed his career.
"It was tough. At first it was very depressing," Medeiros said. "Not being able to train...I had to totally alter my life."
Medeiros did just that. Changing his diet and improving his work ethic. But he says perhaps the biggest change happened when he received the tutelage of UFC vets Nick and Nate Diaz.
"I had the right people around me. Supportive family and friends. It truly helped me become the man and change the person I am today."
Now, nearly three years since his last fight, Medeiros says his body is in better shape and his mind is sharper than its ever been. Time as changed more than just his outlook. Medeiros will fight at 155-pounds, 50-pounds lighter than his last bout.
The weight loss may seem like a big deal, but it's no bigger than the weight of his hometown, Waianae, that rests on his shoulders.
"It's more than just a fight. It's about representation. I'm very proud that I get to represent Hawaii. I like to show and represent where I'm from. Show that we do have talent and that we are good people."