Rankings are great, and some people may swear by them, but until Alden Coria is in the UFC, that number next to his name is just a number.
The 23-year-old has been on the move quickly and methodically since turning pro. Already at 5-0, he fluctuates between bantamweight and flyweight with an 80% finish rate, and with a Von Flue choke to kick off his career, it’s been common knowledge for two and a half years now that this guy is different.
“Texas is a huge state,” Coria said. “People want to fight from El Paso all the way up north and to the east and the west. I’m number five in Texas and it feels good being number five. I know I’ve taken my time and picked the right opponents and taken all the right steps to get where I’m at.”
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He’s high-paced as a flyweight and bloodthirsty as a bantamweight. Though only five fights into his career, he already draws comparisons to TJ Dillashaw and Petr Yan, two of the baddest men to ever do it.
He’s a pressure fighter that’s into changing his stance, pushing the pace and making brawlers into grapplers, and while the style suits him well if the UFC were to come calling, he’d prefer to keep his talents in the 125-pound division for now.
“My body style and the size that I am better suits 125,” Coria said. “Later down the road when my metabolism starts slowing down and I start gaining weight, I’ll bring 135 into the question.”
Spoken like a true grizzled veteran, Coria knows that while he’s outside of the UFC looking in, beggars can’t be choosers and he’ll have to take the fights that come his way so weight class is a luxury he’s unable to confine himself to at the moment.
Being forced to fight outside of your weight class to stay active is something that you may hear fighters complain about from time to time, but Coria has always done things a little bit differently.
“I like to fight people from different states and different areas,” Coria said. “There’s fighters in Texas that kind of make the rounds and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to jump onto a bandwagon where I fight the same guy everybody fights because they know they’re going to get a win. I want to fight somebody I don’t even know. Give me a tough guy from another state just so I can prove that I’m the best in the United States and in the world.”
Will Coria make it to the UFC one day? Hard to say, but he’s off to as promising start as you can be on paper. He certainly has the right mentality. Will his formula for success be altered when he’s incapable of fighting a random fighter?
His one weakness has worked out to be his strength so far. He believes a lack of gameplan is a gameplan in and of itself. Could that translate to a promotion where you’re one fight away from becoming a household name in the flyweight division?
Coria certainly thinks so.
“Every fighter’s different,” Coria said. “Anything can happen in each fight. I usually don’t go in game planning at all. I don’t do any of that. I just go in and take care of business. This guy could be a striker but in this fight he wants to wrestle or do some jiu jitsu. I don’t think it changes anything for me.”
At 5-0 and calling out the toughest guy in hometowns across America at only 23, it’s hard to call him crazy. What he’s doing is working. Will the politest Texas fighter continue his dominant run?
Find out on January 14!
Catch the return of Alden Coria, LIVE at LFA 121, Friday, January 14, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!