Pendred wants top 15 opponent in Dublin if he remains unbeaten in Mexico

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Cathal Pendred is feeling the benefit of his six-week camp in Mexico ahead of his clash with Augusto Montano at UFC 188.

The altitude was the main factor behind Pendred setting up shop in Toluca, but there was certainly more advantages to it than that. As the SBG man’s popularity grows, so does the list of various media obligations he is invited to fulfil and while he might have done them had he been in Ireland, travelling to Mexico allowed him to fully immerse himself in his preparation.

“There are no distractions over here,” he said. “It’s been six weeks now and had I been home I know there would have been some different things that I would’ve had to do that probably would’ve side tracked my training a bit. The more people become aware of me, the more things I’m asked to do.

“As much as I do like to do those things, over here there is no option – I can’t do it. The focus has been completely on the training, on the fight and on my overall preparation. I love surrounding myself with fighters in the lead up to a fight, it’s a very healthy environment to be in.”

“I’m as ready as I can be. I feel like I couldn’t have done anymore and that’s exactly how I want to feel when I’m getting ready for any fight. There are no more sacrifices that could’ve been made, I couldn’t have pushed myself any harder than this.

“My opponent couldn’t have trained as hard as me. I know that much and that’s where I get my confidence from. I couldn’t be any more confident going into this fight.”

Pendred has isolated “quite a lot” of weaknesses when it comes to ‘Dodger’, the most glaring of which he deems to be in the Mexican’s wrestling ability. The former Cage Warriors world champion believes that although he has a good record, Montano has never fought anyone like him. Such is the disparity between the two in Pendred’s eyes that the Irishman was close to guaranteeing a finish in the contest.

“I think he’s got quite a lot of weaknesses to be honest. I think the biggest difference between us will be in the wrestling department though. I feel like I’ll have a lot better jiu jitsu than him, I think there’s a good chance I could catch this guy in a choke or something, but in saying that, I feel like I can win the everywhere.

“He’s never really fought anyone like me. He’s got a good record but when you look at the people he’s fought there isn’t much substance to it, it’s not like mine even when you consider the guys I fought before I got to the UFC.”

“I don’t see him lasting three rounds to be completely honest with you. All the guys he’s fought have never really put him under any kind of pressure. I’m going to make him uncomfortable and I’m very confident I’ll be able to get the finish. I’ve got a much improved submission game, I’ve improved everywhere and I think people will be able to clearly see who the better fighter is between the two of us.”

If his winning streak is extended to four after Saturday night, Pendred will be courting one of the most considerable runs of consecutive victories in his division. Given the rumours of a yet to be announced event in Dublin for October, the Irishman wants to be rewarded with a top opponent in front of his hometown crowd should he claim victory on Saturday.

“I think a win against Montano will definitely push me up the pecking order, I’ll have won four fights under the UFC banner in a row. I don’t really think about that stuff going into a fight, I’m just focused on getting the win. That has to come before anything else. I’m gonna go in there and take this guy out and then I can start thinking about what’s I want to do next.

“I’ll be making a case for myself for that Dublin card if it does come around. If I win on Saturday I want to get someone from the top 15. Whoever it is, I don’t care, I want it for myself and I want it for the Irish fans.

“This potential event would probably take place in the 3 Arena and it’s likely that Conor will be fighting in the US for the foreseeable future, so I think the Irish fans would like to see my take on one of the top tier guys if UFC came back,” he said.

@PetesyCarroll

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