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Ahead of UFC return, TUF champ Ricky Turcios turns to triathlon to stay in shape

Ricky Turcios reveals his interesting training regimen, including some triathlon training. USA Today (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down most sports, especially the contact ones like MMA, most of the athletes affected have turned into running, cycling, and swimming while they wait for the clearance to play again.

However, Filipino-American MMA fighter Ricky Turcios has been turning into these sports as part of his training regimen as if he is a triathlete.

"I always keep up with my running, cycling, and swimming," Turcios bared on Thursday in an online press conference. "I love triathlon training. That's one of my favorite ways to stay in shape."

So why turn into triathlon too when he is an MMA fighter--and a former Fury FC bantamweight champion at that?

"The word is 'mixed'. It's mixed martial arts. We mix it up. We do jiujitsu, wrestling, grappling, punching, and striking. This is the martial arts portion. That's gonna be the most important part of building your conditioning... But I still like to mix it up too with my long-distance stuff because I think that when you do the long-distance running, swimming, and biking, that's gonna help for that 15-minute or 25-minute fight," Turcios explained. "I like to mix it up so I get all the things covered in the athletic portion."

Given the chance, however, he looks to join a triathlon someday "just for recreation and everything."

For now, however, Turcios' attention is on Aiemann Zahabi at UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev on Sunday (Philippine Time) at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

This will be Turcios' first fight since earning an elusive UFC contract by winning The Ultimate Fighter 29 last year.

Turcios, currently with an 11-2 record, vowed to bring his A-game in his first match back at the Octagon after nearly a year against the 8-2 Zahabi as he looks to make his way into possibly getting his next match in a future pay-per-view event.

"I'm ready to put on the best performance of my life. I have everything I need to win," Turcios further said.

The showdown will be aired live along with the rest of the fight card highlighted by a clash between Rafael Dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev beginning at 10 a.m. on Premier Sports via SkyCable and Cignal and the TapGo app.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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