With his victory over short-notice opponent Abel Trujillo at UFC Fight Night 104, James Vick cemented himself as one of the unsung killers of the lightweight division.
A veteran of The Ultimate Fighter 15, Vick has quietly strung together a sterling 6-1 record over the course of his tenure in one of the UFC’s most talent-rich divisions. And after proving his value yet again with a third-round submission of Trujillo, “The Texecutioner” is only willing to look forwards at a top-15 opponent next, rather than taking another lateral step by revisiting a match-up against his original UFC Fight Night 104 foe, Johnny Case.
“No disrespect to him, but I’m 6-1 in the UFC,” Vick said Monday on The MMA Hour. “He’s not ranked above me. I want to fight somebody above me. I’m not interested in fighting people who are ranked below me, because I’m 29, about to be 30 years old. I’m trying to be a world champion. I want to move up the ladder. I know that I fought Beneil (Dariush) and he was ranked above me and I blew that opportunity, but when I get another opportunity, I will get myself back where I need to be. I definitely feel like I’m a top fighter in the world, and I know that’s where I belong.”
Vick is undoubtedly one of the overlooked success stories of the UFC’s 155-pound division. After compiling a 3-1 run to the semifinals of TUF 15, the Texas native kicked off his Octagon career with five consecutive wins over the likes of Ramsey Nijem and Jake Matthews. He suffered his only career loss at the hands of Dariush at UFC 199, but rebounded in a major way with his dominant showing against a battle-tested opponent in Trujillo this past weekend.