CALIFORNIA -- Albert "The Warrior" Morales is counting down the seconds until Saturday.
The Team Iridium beast fights for the first time since May when he returns to action for Lights Out Xtreme Fighting in Los Angeles.
"Everything is amazing," the six-time UFC vet says with a smile when asked about his training camp for this bout. "I've been focusing so much on improving. I've never had such an intentionally long layoff in my life, and the reason for that was so I had time to improve as a fighter, as a person, as everything. I say this all the time, but you're truly going to see a totally different fighter this weekend."
Just how different?
"I'm going to be a whole new fighter," Albert says. "I say that before every fight because I'm always adding tools. But with this break, I was able to upgrade the software and my hardware, both in a major way. I'm excited to put it down; I'm excited for the world to see my improvements."
Albert has his sights set on earning a couple belts with Lights Out before the end of the year. From there, he plans on a return to the international stage.
"In the UFC," he says point blank when asked where he'd like to be in 12 months. "I want to get my belts before next summer, fight on Contender Series next year, earn my contract, have another UFC fight under my belt, and be waiting for my next assignment in the Octagon.