'Violent Bob Ross' dropping to featherweight, wants 'favorable matchup' with Artem Lobov

Luis Pena will drop to the featherweight division for his next fight, a plan which he said was in the works well before his loss to Mike Trizano at UFC Fight Night 139 this past weekend.

Pena (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) suffered his first professional loss at UFC Fight Night 139 when he dropped a split decision to “The Ultimate Fighter 27” lightweight winner Trizano (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC). It was a disappointing outcome for Pena, but one that he said would serve as an important lesson in the early stages of his career.

With the pressure of being undefeated off him, “Violent Bob Ross” said it’s the right time to pull the trigger and drop down to 145, a move which was first reported by ESPN.com.

“That was always the plan after this fight regardless of outcome,” Pena told MMAjunkie. “I know to a lot of people I probably seem huge at 155, but trust me, it’s a cakewalk for me to make. It just means I’ll have to actually put a little work into cutting now.”

Pena, 25, had been leaning toward fighting at featherweight long before the loss to Trizano. However, he said a moment on the day of his bout at UFC Fight Night 139 sealed the deal. He saw fellow lightweight Davi Ramos step on the scale for his fight-day weigh-in, and the disparity with Pena’s weight was sizable.

“I think it’s the right move to make when we show up at the arena they have us strip down and weigh in and I weighed 165 on the dot while Davi Ramos weighed like 183,” Pena said. “I remember thinking then it might be time to move.”

With hopes to make his featherweight debut sooner than later, Pena said he already has a new opponent in mind. Pena would like to fight Artem Lobov (13-15-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC), not only because he thinks it’s a fight he can win, but because it continues the ongoing feud between American Kickboxing Academy, which houses UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, and SBG Ireland, which is home to Conor McGregor.

“I’m looking for a more favorable match up in my first fight at 145 and this seems like the best one,” Pena said. “Plus it kinda makes sense with both of us coming off losses. I know it’s a really good story going into that especially considering my last win was over a good friend of his. I’m hoping this is somehow made before the end of the year.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 139, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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