“He ended up having the same injury in my week fighting for Miles Johns,” Bautista said. “I was there when he tore his pec off, and he was two months ahead of me, so I watched him get over it.” He’s still a positive guy, and he’s made great strides in two months, so I wasn’t too worried about how I was going to feel afterwards or how it was going to interfere with anything. So I admired Jared because he was going to the same physiotherapist as me and he had the same surgeon as me and obviously the same tear.
The middleweight contender has fully recovered and was back in the Octagon last October, completing three rounds with former champion Robert Whittaker, and Bautista feels just as confident in his return he hoped he would have. reviewed in January, but with the hectic image of bantamweight, the battle slots fill up fast. So here he is, and he’s happy to be back in perhaps the most compelling weight class in sport.
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“I think it’s an exciting division,” Bautista said. “Every year new guys come in, new names and bigger names like Khabib’s cousin (Umar Nurmagomedov). It brings more light to the division, and all last year, watching my teammates Kyler (Phillips), Casey Kenney and Sean O’Malley do their thing, I never wanted to be there anymore. I feel like it’s made me hungrier and I just want to get in there and be a part of this spotlight with all these guys.
And suffering a serious injury made Bautista even more grateful to be back at work.