MELBOURNE, Australia – UFC lightweight Lando Vannata ventures he’s had one of the most interesting journeys in the promotion, and it’s hard not to agree.
Vannata (9-3-2 MMA, 1-3-2 UFC), who meets Marcos Rosa (6-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on Saturday at UFC 234, burst onto the UFC scene in July 2016 with a gutsy fight against future interim champ Tony Ferguson at UFC Fight Night 91. Then he knocked out John Makdessi with a wheel kick to pickup one of the biggest highlight-reel wins of 2016.
Since then, Vannata has had the unusual luck of bouncing between wins and draws in his past four bouts. His overall record stands a 1-3-2 inside the octagon. But, as he told MMAjunkie, there’s more to the story.
“Go watch the fights,” he said in advance of his UFC 234 meeting with Rosa, which takes place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, and streams on UFC Fight Pass. “There’s more than meets the eye.”
Part of that story is a bout with depression following his first UFC draw against Bobby Green. When he fought Drakkar Klose in July, he said he was in the midst of a battle for his mental health.
“I think most people go through it at some point in their life,” Vannata said. “But yeah, a good therapist, a good support system, talking about it with people. Not sulking by myself in my room. Getting out and doing things I enjoy. Giving it times. It takes time.”
Vannata, 26, started to feel better while preparing for a UFC 230 fight with Matt Frevola in November, which ended in a record-tying second octagon draw for the “Groovy” one. Now, in advance of his appearance at UFC 234, he’s in a better place than ever.
His competitive results aren’t quite what he wants when he looks back. But he’s nothing but grateful for the journey. It’s certainly been an interesting one.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC 234's Lando Vannata: My octagon record doesn't tell the whole story