Uros Medic kicked off a vlog this week of his UFC 266 fight week trip to Las Vegas. Hitting the road from California, where he has made Kings MMA his home base, Medic is seen making a pit stop just across the Nevada border…to get some donuts.
It’s an odd move for a fighter in the midst of the always-grueling weight cut, but Medic doesn’t buy them to eat them: he just wants to smell them. If you’ve ever smelled delicious food when you’re starving, you know that is a special variety of torture.
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“I don’t like torturing myself,” he laughs. “But I do like good food. I bring my brother with me, and he can eat it. I can see it. And I say “Ok, tell me about it.” He says it’s really good and this is how it is. It’s a type of mental toughness I can build just by seeing it…It’s not in the video, but I did lick one of the donuts and taste the chocolate [laughs].”
The full reward awaits.
“It’s only a couple more days,” he shrugs with a smile. “It’s just going through these couple days of weight cut and getting it all done. Then the fun time starts.”
Arguably, the fun has already started. Medic is in visibly high spirits despite the growling stomach, as he’s traveling with his aforementioned brother whom he hasn’t seen for four years and filming a journey of one of the more notable newcomers to UFC in the past 12 months.
“I don’t know if you guys remember from Dana White’s Contender Series, I almost started crying because they caught me in an emotional moment and went right with a question about my family. Later, when I watched it, I was like ‘Damn you, you almost got me’” he smiles, referencing his nearby brother. The UFC assisted in getting the brother to the States for a few months and the two have been having a blast ever since. Medic has been living vicariously through his brother as he makes him sample all the American delicacies not available in Serbia, including California tacos and In-n-Out Burger.
“It’s really been fun. Having him around really means a lot to me. On top of the emotional support and him being my best friend and my brother, it really means so much.”
Keeping your nearest and dearest close is something Medic takes very seriously, starting with his recent camp at Kings.
“Master Cordeiro has been very good to me. We’ve been training together with Marvin Vettori, Giga Chikadze, Beneil Dariush, Kelvin Gastelum…we’ve been spending a lot of time preparing for this fight. It’s been a super-fun camp. Everyone has been very helpful.”
But Medic also remembers the pre-UFC tough times in his adopted home of Alaska and the extended family that supported him there.
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“I still have part of my team Anchorage Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Alaska with me. Coach Ryder is here, he’s going to be in the corner [Saturday] together with Master Cordeiro. It’s a blessing having them all together.
“There’s been times—when I first started doing MMA—I didn’t have a whole lot of money and it was hard for me to support myself and pay the gym and all that. Coach, in Alaska, he let me train for free, basically. He helped me out and gave me the guidance that I needed at the time. And ever since the transition to Kings, I still have him around me and the gym that supported me, all those guys. I’m going to visit them right after the fight. Having the right people in your life around you, it’s a blessing. I don’t know how many people have a blessing like that, but every now and then I sit and think about how many good people I have around me and it really means a lot.”
Back in his native Serbia, friends and family stayed awake until ungodly hours to watch their hometown hero get his UFC debut victory at UFC 259, where he needed a scant 1:40 to TKO Aalon Cruz. Even in COVID-times, when large gatherings were forbidden, Medic’s friends secretly gathered at a local bar to celebrate his win.
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“It was a lot of fun,” he says, smiling at the memories. “I got a lot of videos, messages and texts from people celebrating my victory. To all the people that know me there, I’m just a simple guy; I liked to kickbox and hang around with good friends. It was always good vibes and good company. So all of them seeing my progress and me succeeding…my heart was really full.”
It doesn’t hurt, of course, that their native son is an absolute showstopper of a fighter. The résumé of his pro career to date is flawless: seven wins, zero losses, all finishes. He’s only seen the second round one time, and he usually ends the fight in highlight-reel fashion.
Supporters in Serbia, Alaska and California—to say nothing of new fans popping up all over the globe--have begun similarly adjusting their schedules to watch his second UFC tilt Saturday versus Jalin Turner on the UFC 266 early prelims. He’s the local boy made good and everyone is counting on him. There’s a danger in that, of course. Fighters can crumble under the pressure of trying to keep their perfect records intact, the many eyes watching or, worse, the toxic belief that they’re indestructible.
Spend a few minutes talking to him and you’ll realize none of that has begun to faze Medic.
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“I’m a winner, I’ve been a winner my whole life. I’ve experienced losses and I’ve never worried too much about it. I didn’t dwell on it.”
He says he never entertains the psychological trappings that come along with a 7-0 record.
“I’m really not stressing about that. I’m going to stay undefeated for as long as I possibly can. I‘m going to keep doing the same thing I was doing. I get motivated from winning the fights.”
Again, he smiles, thinking of the evening of his first UFC victory and all the well-wishers from his childhood to the present moment cheering him on.
“It really feels good to remember it now. It’s the best feeling in the world. One day when I have kids, I’m going to be worried…is there a better feeling than winning the fights? Everybody that has kids say having kids is the best feeling in the world. I haven’t had any kids yet, but winning these fights is definitely the best feeling I’ve ever experienced.”