Getting to the UFC is the one of the ultimate goals in Mixed Martial Arts. Fighters do everything they can to make it to the best promotion in MMA, but sometimes they come up short. For 31-year old featherweight Bill Algeo, being a fighter is the perfect definition of his journey to finally getting the call to the big show.
Algeo was featured on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, but lost a tough decision to Brendan Loughnane. Algeo did not get the UFC contract, but he did not give up his quest to making it to the big show. Instead, he did what he does best. He fought.
The Covid-19 restrictions have made it difficult for everyone to get back normal life, but thankfully Algeo was able to fight at CFFC 83 and defeat Tim Dooling on August 13, 2020. In the fight, Algeo looked great, which ultimately got him the call he has deserved. Algeo talked to MyMMANews.com about his unanimous decision victory, “It was a great fight, man. I showed off some stuff I have been working on. I have been busy during quarantine. I was able to showcase that in my last fight.”
The UFC offered Algeo a 4-fight contract, which starts with a 16-day, short notice fight at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic against former title contender, Ricardo Lamas on August 29, 2020. Algeo talked about how he is feeling heading into such a quick turnaround and said, “I am good, man. I was in a 15-minute fight, so there is always going to be something sore. But it has been long enough where nothing is really sore anymore and I am good to go. I had no injuries in my last fight, thank goodness. I have taken fights on 3 days notice, so I don’t care man, I am ready to go.”
Algeo is the definition of “game” for a MMA fighter. He has a 13-4 professional record, but three of his losses were against top competition. Some fighters hide from taking the challenging fights, but Algeo embraces the grind. “All of the losses I have, other than one fight that was a fluke, but it was a loss, so full credit to him; 3 of those losses are to top-level guys,” said Algeo. “I take tough fights because that is what is going to improve me. At the end of the day, it is about being able to beat up the person you were last year and I know I can do that. You can’t really improve if you aren’t testing yourself, so I enjoy giving myself the hardest test, regardless of the outcome. Yeah, I have lost some fights, but each loss has gotten me so much better it is ridiculous.”
His championship mindset paired with his elite skillset proves he deserves to be fighting in the UFC. It may have taken some time, but getting the call was a great moment for him and his wife, “It was definitely emotional, man. My wife and I started tearing up a little bit when we first heard it,” said Algeo.
However, after accepting the short notice fight, Algeo told us there were some nerves, hoping it worked out in the end, saying, “Then it was led by a ton of anxiety because I accepted on my part, so it was nice getting this phone call, but I have been in the mix before and it did not work out. This time was a little different, but Ricardo Lamas and his team were waiting quite a bit of time to accept it. Sometimes that happens with high profile guys because they don’t want to fight a no-name guy because they think it doesn’t do much for them or whatever. I was sitting looking at my phone for the next 24 hours hoping it was 100% confirmed because you don’t know until that contract is brought out to you. And then once my manager called and said we are in, we got a 4-fight deal with the UFC. That is when I kind of hit me. It was like okay, this is real now.”
Luckily for Algeo, Lamas and his team signed on the dotted line and he can start making a name for himself in the UFC. Algeo talked about his tough UFC debut opponent, Ricacrdo Lamas, “He has fought some of the best of the world. He has been a staple in the UFC for a reason; he is good. He knows how to win fights. I got nothing bad to say about him, but now I think he is on a decline and it is just my time right now. I know he likes to grapple and mix it up. He doesn’t have too many weaknesses, but I know what it takes to beat him. I am going to look to stay where I want to be at, in my strong positions at all times, and make him work.”
Regarding the potential outcome of the fight, Algeo said he, “Just wants to win,” and added, “That is all I care about. Whether it is a decision, whether it is a knockout, whether I take his neck, or whatever. I don’t care, man, as long as I get that W. Then I will be happy.”
A UFC debut victory of Lamas is definitely something to be happy about. Algeo will be fighting in the biggest fight of his career and he had some awesome closing words for the UFC fans. Algeo said, “I am entertaining as hell. I am intelligent. And I can talk some shit. So, lets win this one, and then we are going to talk some more shit.”
I think all MMA fans can agree that they love to hear that and we all will be looking forward to Algeo’s debut on Saturday night.
Jeremy Klump graduated from Ithaca College in 2015 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Media. He currently contributes for MyMMANews where he covers the UFC. His work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, USA Today, Bleacher Report, and more.