ABU DHABI – Peter Sobotta is reenergized after taking more than two years away from competition ahead of UFC on ESPN 14.
Sobotta (17-6-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC) said the time off from the octagon was well spent. He was able to get many of his personal affairs in order and said he’s now exactly where he needs to be going into Saturday’s welterweight matchup with Alex Oliveira (20-8-1 MMA, 10-6 UFC), which takes place at Flash Forum at Yas Island and airs on ESPN.
“It’s a great to be back,” Sobotta told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Tuesday at UFC on ESPN 14 media day. “A lot of things happened. My focus shifted a little bit more towards my personal life. I became the father of two children in the last two years, so that was exciting. I opened up two new businesses. I opened up a big new gym, and I hosted a big MMA event in my home country in Germany.
“I had an injury on my neck. I was preparing for a fight last year, but it fell out. I wasn’t here, but I was pretty busy. But now I’m back.”
Sobotta said a small part of him wondered if there would be a right time to fight again. He hasn’t competed since a third-round TKO loss to Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Night 127 in March 2018, and has had to deal with injuries since.
The old adage is that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and Sobotta said that rung true for him. Not only is he keen for his comeback fight, but he wants to make a statement that convinces UFC offcials to keep him around in the future.
“(The time off) made me realize how much I miss the fighting and the training and all the challenges that come with it,” Sobotta said. “I was away, and I really started to miss it, and it gave me the feel like, ‘OK, I have to come back, I have to do it again.’ Now I’m feeling great.
“The training camp was good, and it’s the last fight on my contract. So everything depends on the fight on Saturday, and I really hope I’ll get a new contract.”
Sobotta thinks Oliveira is the perfect matchup to allow him to shine and prove his worth. The Brazilian is one of the top action-fighters in the welterweight division and is consistently putting himself in the running for a “Fight of the Night” bonus. That meshes will with Sobotta, he said.
“It’s great to fight him,” Sobotta said. “He was very active in the time I wasn’t fighting, and for sure he’s a very exciting fighter. A cool guy. All of his fights are always with a lot of action, and that’s what I expect: A fast fight with a lot of action, but I think I’m the better fighter and I think I will win.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/peter-sobotta-return-fight-layoff-alex-oliveira-new-contract-ufc-on-espn-14/