Alex Morgan never imagined he would be sitting on his loss to Charles Jourdain for this long.
Back at TKO 45 on December 7, 2018, Morgan was set to defend his TKO featherweight title for the first time. He was coming off a TKO win over T.J. Laramie, which was the second time he knocked him out in the first round. The stakes for the fight were high as many expected the winner to get signed to the UFC, and unfortunately for Morgan, who hails from Montreal, Que., he suffered a first-round submission loss.
After the loss, Morgan, 30, wanted to return sooner, but he couldn’t get any fights booked in 2019. Then, COVID-19 hit, which shelved him for all of 2020. Yet, on July 1 in the main event of Mixed Martial Arts Grand Prix 3 in France, Morgan (9-4) will return to the cage and battle Frenchman, Alioune Nahaye (10-2). He also says there is a big pressure off his shoulders by not fighting at home.
“I didn’t know it would be this long since my last fight. We didn’t know COVID would be happening, and I couldn’t fight. I’ve been ready to fight, but sadly it never happened,” Morgan said on Monday from France to MMA Empire.
“I also wanted to fight in Canada, but it never came to fruition for whatever reasons. That is why I’m out here fighting in France and it’s a great opportunity for me. I’m also happy to be fighting here as there’s no pressure on me. I don’t have to stress about selling tickets, people asking me to come to my fight, and just being the local guy and all the pressure that comes.”
When he got the fight offer, Morgan jumped at the chance. He admits he didn’t know much of his opponent who has a 10-2 record, but he’s eager to showcase his skills and show how much better he has gotten since his last fight.
Morgan not only expects to be better everywhere than Nahaye, but he also says he expects to get a stoppage win.
“I don’t know much about my opponent. I watched video of him and he’s a tough guy,” Morgan said.
“He’s a guy who likes to brawl, he’s a good opponent and a good test, but I know I have the tools to beat this guy. I don’t want to rush anything, but I know I have the tools to beat him everywhere. If he wants to go to the ground, I’m sure I can tap him. If he wants to stay standing, I’m pretty sure I can knock him out. I know I can finish this fight and that is what I’m visualizing. I’ve been waiting two years and had to travel to France to put everything for this fight and get the finish.”
If Morgan does get the stoppage win, he’s unsure what will be next for him.
He says he’s no longer worried about when the UFC or Bellator may sign him. Instead, he knows that call will eventually come, so, for now, he’s just focused on his fight.
“I’m not thinking about what’s next. That is something I did when I was younger. I added pressure on myself always stressing about when the UFC will sign me. I’m just focused on the fight at hand and not looking past that,” Morgan said.
“After I win this fight, we will see. If I get the call, of course, I’ll take it. But, I’m not stressing over it.”
Follow Morgan on social media: INSTAGRAM