Cathal Pendred aims to make Irish fans proud with win over Breese

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On the announcement of his bout at UFC Dublin on October 24 at the 3 Arena against Tom Breese, Cathal Pendred claimed that the matchup was “the best case scenario” coming off his first UFC loss in Vegas. The Irish welterweight is confident that Breese’s hype and undefeated record will bring a lot of the attention to the clash in the Irish capital.

“I think he’s a decent fighter,” explained Pendred. “I’ve seen little bits and pieces of him and I’m happy with him as an opponent to be honest with you. He has a lot of hype around him and I think that will get a lot of people interested in the matchup. He’s undefeated too, again, that makes for even more interest.

“I knew I wasn’t going to get a ranked opponent because things didn’t go according to plan in Vegas, so I think a guy like Tom Breese is the best case scenario for me outside of that really.”

The SBG fighter is adamant that nothing specific will change in his approach to competition after coming up on the wrong end of a split decision loss to John Howard on July 11. According to the former Cage Warriors world champion, he may have been too eager to get Octagon outings under his belt after signing with UFC, which may have affected his performances.

He said: “My outlook is still the same regardless of whether I win or lose. It’s possible that I was a little over-eager coming into the UFC in my first year with the promotion. I just wanted to roll through the fights as quickly as possible and for self-improvement, that isn’t really the best thing to be doing. I’ve learned that after fighting five times in my first year.

“To get the best out of myself I might need to give myself a bit more time between my fights. In that sense, I suppose there is a bit of a change but in terms of my focus on the fight and everything else, it’s exactly the same. I still want to win as much as I usually do.”

Pendred usually boasts a size advantage over every opponent he meets at 170 lbs. However, this time around with Breese, the Dubliner will find himself the smaller of the two fighters with the Englishman standing at 6’3’’. To deal with the Brit’s towering stature, Pendred is not ruling out bringing in some people with similar physiques to aid his preparation.

“When I think about the hype around Tom, I think a lot of it is to do with his size, his stature. He’s 6’3’’, he’s in good shape and I think that has a lot of people excited about him. He sticks out in peoples’ minds.

“In terms of his size, as Conor always says, there are many different body types. In SBG we have all them different shapes and sizes – tall, short, slim, stocky. When I’m sparring I’ll definitely be looking for the guys with bodies that are similar to his, but that’s the only way it will affect my training.

“I might even bring in a few guys that I know that are of similar stature to Tom. Different bodies do change your approach ever so slightly. Whether it’s shooting in or striking, a few things might need to be adapted for different sized opponents, bigger or smaller,” outlined the welterweight.

Pendred recently declared an interest in contesting a professional boxing bout, but the Irishman revealed that UFC will not allow him to do so.

“Taking a pro boxing bout is something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do, but obviously everything was just flying in my MMA career. That was always the priority but I’m always looking for different challenges. I think it would help my MMA game too, which is the end goal.

“The UFC won’t let me do it though, which is fair enough I suppose. I still want to have a pro boxing fight, whether it will have to be after my UFC career or whatever, it’s something that’s definitely on the list.”

Finally, Pendred commented on the sporting rivalry between Ireland and England and how he hopes to send Irish fans home proud with a win over their “super-power neighbour.”

“Everybody from Ireland loves to get one over on the English when it comes to sporting occasions. They are our big, super-power neighbour and we’re the little island beside them, when it comes to sports we’re usually always the underdog. The Irish take pride in beating the English, and they’ll be proud leaving the 3 Arena on October 24.”

@PetesyCarroll

Peter Carroll is Severe MMA's lead feature writer. He has been featured in many top publications and some rubbish ones too. He also writes for the Irish Daily Mirror and Vice's Fightland.