“I believe it was the cut,” he said. “She knew how much I put into this training camp, and for me to go out like that, it happens. It’s the fight game. She’s understanding, but not that much. (Laughs) It was just a freak accident, but it’s what we signed up for, it’s the fight game.”

The loss, the second in two UFC appearances for the Houston native, was a crushing one, but it wasn’t anything seeing his baby girl couldn’t cure.

“Oh man, most definitely,” he said. “My kids are getting older, but this one, it’s like I’m rejuvenated. It’s starting over again, me and my wife. I’ll go train, and I’m a tough guy at the gym, but then I come home and I’m watching Cocomelon. (Laughs) It’s crazy, but I’m enjoying it. It’s a blessing.”

The 36-year-old has taken those good vibes, erased the memory of a 2020 that he’d like to forget when it comes to his time in the Octagon, and is now looking straight ahead with optimism at a year that begins on Wednesday when he faces Vinicius Moreira on UFC Fight Island.

“I just got through the hardest year of my life in 2020, was blessed with the greatest daughter I can be blessed with, and if I can get through 2020, 2021 it’s time to come up and I’m excited for it.”

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