On September 22, the UFC returns to Sao Paulo, Brazil for UFC Fight Night 137. On that card is Luigi Vendramini who will be making his UFC debut against Elizeu Zaleski on short notice. I was able to talk with the lightweight prospect ahead of his fight and find out, what this opportunity means to him.
When did you find out about this fight?
Was it an instant yes?
LV: Absolutely! No hesitation at all (laughs).
What does it mean to you to be a UFC fighter?
LV: It’s a dream come true. It’s been 10 years in the making. Ten years of training, dieting and sacrificing. It means more to me than most people would ever understand, but it’s also just the beginning.
From what I could find online, it looked like you were in camp for
another fight, if so, what adjustments have you had to make for this
None, really. I’m always in great shape, especially with my last fight just taking place so recently, and I’ve fought many guys with a similar style as my opponent. This is nothing new (laughs).
Where are you currently training?
LV: I’m training at First Fight Center for MMA and kickboxing, and at Constrictor Team for BJJ. When I’m in America, I train at Team Alpha
How do you like the matchup?
LV: I love it. I’ve always wanted to fight the toughest opponents available, and this is my toughest challenge yet. On the other hand, I believe I’m his toughest challenge yet, so it will make for a great fight for the fans.
You’re opponent, Elizeu Zaleski is a very experienced fighter who is on a five fight win streak in the UFC, is this the type of fighter you wanted to debut against and how will you adjust to his experience advantage?
LV: Absolutely. This is a great fight for my debut. Although he’s been fighting longer at the highest level, I’ve also been training for 10 years, so I don’t think there will be a huge deficit in experience when the Octagon door locks. I’m sure he’s got a few tricks but his sleeve, and so do I. If I must, I’ll counter his experience advantage with my technique, athleticism and fighting spirit.
How do you see the fight ending?
LV: I will finish him. I’m not sure how or when, but my objective is always a finish — as you’ve seen in my previous fights — so this will be no different. I will make a statement with my victory.
What would you like fans to know about you?
LV: I’d like them to know that I’m a very aggressive fighter. I always come to fight and always come to put on a show. This will be no different. I want them to know that I’d die in the Octagon if I had to, to get the win. I want them to know I’m a top prospect in my division, and I’m excited to showcase my skills at the highest level and put onan awesome show!