Diego Ferreira knows exactly what lies ahead of him at Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 3, but he sees Rustam Khabilov as an opportunity more than a challenge.
“He’s very tough,” Ferreira told MMAjunkie. “He’s on a six-fight win streak in the UFC. He’s a great opponent for me. It’s what I need and what I want.”
Ferreira (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Khabilov (23-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) meet on the ESPN2-broadcast prelims of Saturday’s event at O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic. The night’s main card streams on ESPN+.
Ferreira returned one year ago from a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency-imposed suspension and looked impressive in putting together a pair of knockout victories. But in Khabilov, Ferreira faces a gritty Dagestani wrestler capable of controlling opponents, as witnessed by his six consecutive UFC wins, all of which have come via decision.
Ferreira doesn’t believe he’ll fall victim to the same fate.
“I know that Rustam usually goes to decision, but I always go for a finish,” Ferreira said. “I’ll try to knock him out.
“I know it’s going to be a great fight. People will pay attention. It’s going to boost me up the rankings.”
Ultimately, moving his way up the UFC’s lightweight list is Ferreira’s goal. After losing two years of his career despite still professing his innocence, Ferreira is ready to make up for the time he missed.
“I’m fully dedicated and focused for this fight,” Ferreira said. “I hope to start the year on the right foot and to have two or three more bouts in 2019.
“I hope that in a couple of fights I can make it into the top-10. I hope that, God willing, one day I’ll have a shot at the belt. I’m feeling very confident.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Diego Ferreira plans on finishing Rustam Khabilov at UFC Prague: 'People will pay attention'