Yancy Medeiros was once a light heavyweight. Now he fights at 155 pounds.
For that incredible 50-pound drop in competition weight, the undefeated Hawaiian credits Nick and Nate Diaz.
“They changed my nutrition, my work ethic,” Medeiros told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show. “I come from Hawaii and I fly all the way to California. I commute every other month to come up here and train with these guys. … That’s pretty much how I started going down all the way to 155. I actually thought I was going to fight at 170 because I fought [at] 185 in Strikeforce and I just kept losing weight.”
The transformation began when Medeiros was sidelined with an injury. Unable to train, he decided to work on what he could, which included his diet. He’d admired the Diaz brothers for their competitiveness and their style of fighting, but their lifestyle also made an impression on him.
“I started eating like them and I felt way better eating clean,” Medeiros said. “It wasn’t just the fact that I felt better, but I felt like my recovery was even faster and I could do the same things and have the same hard practices the next day. Nick and Nate showed me that. They showed me that your body talks to you and you start feeling different things, and now my whole nutrition is totally changed. I used to just eat clean to fight and now I eat clean to live. It’s a way of life now.”
Medeiros believes he’s even stronger now than he was at 205 pounds. Certainly he’s found a way to stay focused considering he hasn’t fought since his June 2010 knockout of Gareth Joseph in Strikeforce. Now, though, he’s set on a shot in the UFC. Medeiros will make his debut Saturday at UFC 159 against Rustam Khabilov.
“I’m a realist. He’s good,” Medeiros said. “He’s good, but Joe Silva called my manager and my manager told him yeah and he called me and I was happy because I got into the UFC. I’m not the Ultimate Chooser. I’m an Ultimate Fighter. If they gave me Ben Henderson, what am I going to say? No? To my first UFC fight? I’ll take anybody.”
Plenty of fighters say they’ll fight anyone, but a former light heavyweight like Medeiros seems to actually mean it.
“From what I heard, a couple of guys turned [Khabilov] down,” Medeiros said. “I’m not surprised. I’m not saying they’re little b--ches, but you know what I mean? You get to choose your fight, who you want to fight? … I don’t feel I’ve made a name for myself to even do something like that, say, ‘No, no, I don’t want to fight this guy.’ I’ve got to fight whoever they put in front of me.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:03:59).