LAS VEGAS – The PFL returns to Las Vegas on Friday at Mandalay Bay Events Center, with British featherweight Brendan Loughnane set to make his promotional debut in a featured non-tournament bout at PFL Playoffs 1.
Loughnane takes on American Matt Wagy in a featherweight contest, and the Brit has left nothing to chance as he ensured he arrived in Las Vegas in good time ahead of the bout.
“I got out here Wednesday night last week,” Loughnane told MMA Junkie at Mandalay Bay this week. “I like to acclimate. I like to get the water in early and get that long flight out the way.”
Loughnane (17-3 MMA, 0-0 PFL) accepted PFL’s contract offer after UFC president Dana White opted not to sign him following a win on his Contender Series, and the Manchester native explained that he was in the privileged position of having to decide between multiple offers.
“I had a lot of offers. I had ONE FC, I had Bellator, a couple of different ones,” Loughnane said, before explaining why he opted for PFL.
“A couple of reasons: One is the arenas; we’re in the Mandalay Bay right now, (and) there’s Madison Square Garden. Great purses and the chance to be a millionaire in six months.”
Some have suggested that Loughnane will find himself on the UFC roster eventually, but the Brit isn’t so sure.
“No, I don’t think I will,” he said. “I just think I’m happy where I am now. All this stuff has happened for a reason. Like I say, a lot has happened in between the fight and coming to the PFL, so I feel like I’m at home. The PFL have really looked after me. They’ve paid for me to be here (in Las Vegas) since Wednesday, and they’ve really looked after me. And, at the end of the day, they’re paying my bills.”
And while some in his position might still harbor bitterness towards the man who denied him a shot in the UFC, Loughnane says he has no issue with White whatsoever.
“This is a question I get asked a lot: ‘Oh, bro. Do you hate Dana White? You gonna prove him wrong?’” he said. “I’m like, ‘Nah.’ I’ve no hatred towards him. He made his decision based on what he thought, and I’ve moved on. He’s moved on. I don’t feel any pressure towards anybody.
“At the time it was a sickener – two weeks of depression,” he said. “It was a difficult pill to swallow because I believed I would be in the UFC and be in the top 10. But it wasn’t meant to be, so I’ve brought that U.K. flag to PFL, to Las Vegas, and this is where I’ll be.”
Loughnane will compete in PFL’s 2020 featherweight tournament, but will compete twice for the promotion before then, with featured non-tournament bouts in Las Vegas this weekend, then at the PFL season finale at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve. When asked which iconic fight location meant more to him, he didn’t hesitate.
“I’m gonna be honest: I came here when I was 21 (and) fell in love with this city,” he said. “The first ever one was when I came to Cotto and Mayweather, and I made a promise to myself that day that I would fight here, no matter what. Eleven years later, we’re here, and it’s time to make it happen.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Off Guard: Brendan Loughnane feels no hatred toward Dana White, at home in PFL