Claudio Puelles Shares How Moving to the U.S. Made Him a Better Athlete & Man

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It wasn’t easy for “El Nino” to leave Peru, but it also forced him to become more responsible.

2021 has been a pivotal year in Claudio Puelles’ life, as the Peruvian left his home country to move to the United States. Puelles (10-2, 3-1 UFC) settled down at Sanford MMA right before he clashed with Jordan Leavitt at UFC Fight Night 189, where he earned a unanimous decision over the Dana White’s Contender Series alum. The 25-year old believes he made the right choice, acquiring a new mindset for his training camp that reflects his improvements as an athlete and human being. He will show everyone how far he has come when he faces Chris Gruetzemacher at the upcoming UFC ESPN 31 event.

“I started seeing people here who didn’t stop training,” he said while talking with Sherdog. “They’re at the gym like the whole year almost like they don’t miss a day, they barely miss a day ever. I started seeing that, and I’m like, ‘OK, I got to become a better athlete.’ I started training areas which I didn’t train before, I started taking my condition more seriously, I started not missing a day of sparring because I felt a little lazy in the morning. Things like that that started making me think more as an athlete. Also, on a non-training side, I started paying a lot more bills. Before, I didn’t have to pay so many things so I could like get off with fighting once a year and be good for the whole year, even more. Now, it’s not like that, I’m paying for a lot of things. The stuff here is in dollars. If before I was earning my money in dollars and in Peru, we have our own currency, so it was like cheaper, now it’s not like that. I also got to make more money to make a living.”


(00:00) Intro
(01:43) Moving to the United States and training at Sanford MMA
(03:55) Missing his family in Peru
(05:40) Becoming a more responsible athlete after leaving his home country
(08:23) What can fans expect from his next fight
(11:24) His pick for the Rob Font-Jose Aldo clash
(12:40) Aldo appreciation moment
(14:23) Picking Charles Oliveira-Dustin Poirier
(16:33) Outro

Tudor Leonte started writing about mixed martial arts in 2013 for Italian media outlets. His journey with Sherdog began in 2018 and now he covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @MrTudorLeonte.


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