Just hunting at the earlier 12 months of Jimmy Flick’s occupation, it’s challenging to picture that he was headed any place else than the UFC.
The 30-year-previous submission specialist went 4- in 2020, winning all over the place he went. He started the year profitable the Freestyle Cage Preventing flyweight title in February, then scored a 38-2nd submission earn above Greg Fischer at LFA 86. He adopted that up with a dazzling 3rd-round submission acquire above the earlier unbeaten Nate Smith on the Contender Collection in September to generate a UFC contract.
When Flick stepped into the cage versus Cody Durden at UFC Vegas 17 (their bout was truly pushed back again two months due to Durden withdrawing from UFC Vegas 16 with a situation of pink eye), he didn’t disappoint, conquering a slow get started and successful by way of flying triangle choke, just the 3rd time that submission had been properly executed in UFC historical past.
Flick enters 2021 as 1 of the flyweight division’s most talked-about fighters, a amazing reversal of fortunes thinking about how shut he’s arrive to going for walks absent from MMA in the earlier. Pursuing losses to Ray Rodriguez and Chris Gutierrez, Flick experienced thoughts of retirement, but he credits his spouse and his coaches with trying to keep him in the match.
“Honestly, I assumed it’s possible immediately after the Chris Gutierrez battle and then the Ray Rodriguez fight, I’ve believed about hanging it up,” Flick stated on a new episode of What the Heck. “I have a actually superior position with a 401(k), benefits, I possess two and a 50 % acres. Me and my spouse are quite sensible men and women and we’re executing truly fantastic for ourselves particularly at a youthful age. I could have hung it up whenever, but my wife was motivating, my instruction companions, my coaches, specifically when I introduced Leo Perrucci in, it was really a video game changer.
“I understood I experienced one extra operate coming up on 30 decades outdated and my spouse really inspired me. She’s been with me for 10 several years. She’s been with the ups, she’s been with the downs, she’s found the smaller paychecks and all the challenging function, all the dollars I’m paying out and time I’m expending, and not bringing much household and even now functioning a comprehensive-time task. Now, everything’s modifying and it’s altering for the ideal motives and I fully grasp it now and now I just want bigger and greater factors at the final small operate I obtained right here in the UFC.”
Had Flick made it to the UFC earlier in his job, he miracles if he would have been completely ready, if he may possibly have flamed out speedy and never ever been equipped to make it back again. The route grew to become far more winding for Flick, a pure flyweight, for the duration of that stretch in 2018 when it appeared that the UFC was no for a longer period invested in the 125-pound division.
Absolutely focused on his UFC target, Flick resolved to go up to bantamweight, but the effects have been blended in the heavier division. Considering that 2017, Flick is 8-3 with all of his losses coming at 135 pounds.
“It was a significant selection fighting a person like Ray and moving again up to 135 simply because in 2018, right after I shed to Chris Gutierrez, I went back to 125 and I was on a two-struggle profitable streak with two finishes once more,” Flick said. “One staying in excess of Cee Jay Hamilton on quick-notice for LFA. So I had my momentum heading, but which is when the UFC begun conversing about cutting the flyweight division.
“We knew that if we could get earlier Ray Rodriguez at 135 and continue to keep that momentum going, that was the future struggle. Immediately after finding knocked out by Ray Rodriguez, which is when I recognized I seriously necessary to start out operating additional on my hanging and I introduced in Leo Perrucci from Forza Beat Sports and we’ve been getting off at any time since.”
Flick’s emphasis on improving his putting has compensated off and he even gained a kickboxing bout soon after teaming up with Perucci. He’s even now however to get paid his first knockout in MMA, but his a lot more rounded game assisted him to endure towards the challenging Durden right before the time came for him to land his spotlight-reel submission.
For Flick and his team, a great deal of the get the job done for his effective debut arrived prolonged in advance of he built it to the UFC APEX, as they experienced to figure things out on the fly when the initial Dec. 5 scheduling was canceled on struggle working day as Flick was moments absent from touring to the venue.
“That night time, I told my mentor, let us wrap up my hands and let’s go next door and coach since we had been in the lodge, I didn’t get to go to the struggle,” Flick mentioned. “We have a schooling home, we locked up and started off hitting mitts that night. I woke up the upcoming early morning at 3:30 in the early morning and ran three miles just before heading on the aircraft and heading back dwelling. Then that Monday we had been back again in the health club putting in get the job done. I just went to go show how mentally tough I am.
“They explained we did that in two months, that was tough, but now I know I’m mentally tough—I already understood I was mentally rough but I’m a large amount more durable than I considered I was and I consider the UFC’s just gonna retain bringing terrific points out to me.”