Anthony Birchak earned a split decision win over Dileno Lopes at UFC Fight Night 90, and it would be the final time Birchak competed for the promotion. The UFC opted to not resign Birchak and now that he’s fighting outside of their auspices, has been battling depression, among other things.
“With the first organization that I was going to sign with, they had a matchup,” Birchak explained to MMA Junkie. “We were getting ready. I went into full training camp, and I just noticed on my road runs, just there was a lack of motivation. Like, ‘Man, this isn’t the UFC.’ It’s a fight, and I could get hurt and everything still, but I just could feel that fire was kind of on low burn, you know what I mean? When you take that stove to the very bottom, it’s still hot, and it will still burn you, but it’s not raging. I was talking to my wife, who’s also my manager, and I said, ‘Hey, I think I’m in a dangerous spot mentally and emotionally.’ I was very depressed, and trying to get motivated for a fight when you’re depressed like that, it was really hard.”
During his four fight run with the UFC, Birchak defeated Dileno Lopes and Joe Soto, while suffering defeats to Ian Entwistle and Thomas Almeida.
One thing that Birchak is starting to learn is that there is life outside of the UFC.
“The UFC was saying, ‘We’re the NFL of fighting,’ but the treatment of fighters doesn’t show that, and the pay of the fighters doesn’t show that, so how can you make that comparison?” Birchak asked. “Once you’ve got there, you realize there’s more opportunities out there around the globe. The UFC isn’t the only organization. They may be the best. They may be the top dog, but you can always be a king in an organization that treats you like a king.”
Birchak also owns 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu (Tuscon, Arizona), where he also serves as the centers head coach.