Hungry for MMA comeback, Richie “Vas” eyeing 2017 return to competition

It’s been almost 12 months since Richie Vaculik last competed in MMA, however the four-time UFC veteran has reveled that a comeback is now definitely on the cards.

“Vas” spoke with Emma Challands on the latest edition of the Fight News Australia podcast.

“I’m still eager to fight. I’ve got some great opportunities and some offers put in front of me to fight here in Australia and overseas in places like Japan, so when the time is right. I was hoping to fight in November this year but my wife is pregnant. We’re expecting our first child in February so my attention and my priorities are a little bit split at the moment and I respect the sport enough to know that if I’m not all in then it’s not the time to take a fight. I’m hoping to fight early to mid next year.”

With a 9-1 record behind him, Vaculik found his way into the UFC via the TUF Smashes series as a lightweight. He later dropped to the flyweight division and debuted for the promotion vs Justin Scoggins in Brisbane, however was stopped in the opening round by the American. The 33 year-old Maroubra native bounced back to defeat Roldan Sangcha-an in Auckland before suffering back-to-back losses to Louis Smolka and most recently Danny Martinez in Melbourne. He was later released from the promotion.

Although he’s been on the sidelines since that defeat, Vaculik has stayed busy within the sport and admits training with some of the best fighters around has only solidified his desire to make another go of it.

“Yeah I do, hugely. I’m still training every day. I’ve got lots of friends of mine, my training partners who have got fights coming up so I’ve really been enjoying helping them get ready. I’ve been doing that for them recently and loving it. It definitely hammers home the point that I still love to fight and I can’t wait to get in there and experience it myself.

“I was in the States earlier this year and training at gyms like Team Alpha Male and Alliance and all those great gyms and I love the training there. I felt like I was competitive with some of the top fighters in the UFC so it got me pretty excited to get back in there myself. So yeah that itch is still there.”

Richie’s full interview with Fight News Australia can be found here.