Bellator Season 5 bantamweight tournament finalist and decorated Cuban wrestler Alexis Vila is ready to resume his MMA career.
MMAFighting.com recently learned that the Olympic wrestling bronze medalist and two-time wrestling world champion has signed with Titan FC.
Vila (14-6) began his MMA career when he was 36 years old and was able to put together an impressive record of 11-0 in less than four years. This streak included his participation on Bellator's season 5 bantamweight tournament, where he earned a first-round knockout victory over Joe Warren and a split-decision win over Marcos Galvao.
Vila's first professional loss came in the tournament final, where he was outpointed by Eduardo Dantas.
Following his Bellator run, Vila dropped to his natural weight class, flyweight, and had a tough time, going 3-4.
Vila last competed on Feb. 6, 2015, at Fight Time 23, taking a year-long break from the sport a first-round knockout loss. Now, at 45, Vila is ready to return.
"Well, I think that the break I took helped me a lot to improve on many things. I don't think age is a factor as long as you keep your spirit young, keep training, and stay in good condition," Vila told MMAFighting.com. "I don't think age is a factor."
Although MMA is considered by many to be a young man's sport, Vila believes he can compete with anyone in the world and says being mentally ready and focused is the key. Vila also believes that at this stage in his career it's not about speed but about resistance, and he doesn't plan to retire anytime soon.
"Until I'm at least 50 years old or until my body doesn't hold up any more or until I have an injury that impedes me from fighting, but as long as my body holds up, I'll be fighting," Vila said.
Regardless, Vila knows that because of his age some people may be skeptical of his return.
"To all the people that doubt because of the age or because of the many battles I've had, I want to show them that everything you want to reach in life you have to work for, and when you work, everything can be accomplished," Vila said.
The former Olympian hopes to make his Titan FC debut sometime in June and wants to fight a top flyweight. Vila "guarantees" he'll finish his opponent and aims to challenge for the title, which is currently being held by former UFC fighter Tim Elliott, following his debut.
"Now that I'll be fighting in this organization, I want to tell all my future opponents that I'm coming for them, I'm going to take the belt and I'm going to keep it," Vila said.