Cathal Pendred Fights At UFC 188 This Weekend
Pendred Faces Augusto Montano Having Learned From Recent Criticisms
SBG Ireland’s Cathal Pendred enters into his fourth UFC contest this weekend, against Augusto Montano in his opponent’s hometown of Mexico City. A victory will see Pendred extend his record in the UFC to 4-0, and his current professional record to 17-2. Montano (15-1) has finished all of his wins inside the distance. 13 of those stoppages have come in the first round, including his UFC debut against Chris Heatherly last November. Despite that knowledge, and the fact that he takes on Montano in his hometown, Pendred is not overly concerned. Last March he stated:
“I watched his fights and one of the things I’ve highlighted is that he just hasn’t fought the calibre of guys that I have. You look through his record, you look at the records of the guys he fought, he’s really only fought one good guy and that’s the guy he lost to – Sam Alvey.”
Cathal Pendred’s Last Fight
Unlike those who have fought Montano before him, a loss in the first round seems unlikely for the SBG Ireland man, given the battling displays that have marked his UFC outings to date. His UFC debut against Mike King saw Pendred recover from a heavy first round to win by submission, and his last fight against Sean Spencer saw him knocked to the mat with three heavy blows in the first round, only to recover and pick up a unanimous decision win. Despite the fight stats showing Pendred managing four takedowns to Spencer’s zero, landing more strikes, and only three fewer significant strikes, it was a win that caused a lot of controversy among fans. Pendred, who felt he had earned the win, albeit in a close contest, was shocked to discover the aggressive response from fans:
“I got a fair bit of stick on social media. Social media is a great tool as a fighter to promote yourself, but on the other end of the stick, when you’re getting criticism, you’re subjected to it all.”
Cathal Pendred has also been critical of what he saw as unfair commentary from Joe Rogan, which he felt may have led to the negativity he has received:
“I thought he was critical of me the whole time throughout the fight, even when I was doing things well, he kept mentioning what I was doing wrong and he kept mentioning what my opponent was doing well. Even in the third round, at one point I was taking my opponent down and he was talking about how tired and bad my cardio was as I was taking my opponent down…He’s in a position where he can sway a lot of people’s minds. I felt it may have had an effect on it.”
It was a fight that Pendred says he has learned a lot from, both in and out of the Octagon. Disappointed in yet being able to perform to his fullest in the UFC, he also took a lot away with regards to the realities of being a pro fighter in the public eye:
“Sports fans are entitled to their opinion. That’s what being a sports fan is about…You may have never played the sport in your life, but you have an opinion on it. It’s the same with MMA. 99 percent of the criticism would’ve been from people who’ve never stepped foot in the gym…But that’s OK, I’m not going to worry about that. I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today if there weren’t fans. That’s what they’re entitled to: their opinion.”
Pendred Looks Forward to UFC 188
Cathal Pendred is confident that the controversy will only give him all the more reason to impress on Saturday, and he is taking no chances. Pendred has been training at the high altitudes of Mexico City for the past five weeks, alongside SBG Ireland teammates, including Gunnar Nelson, Chris Fields, Matt Inman and Peter Queally. Moving his whole camp out to Mexico shows how serious Pendred is about putting any question marks behind him in his next fight. The best way to do that will be by not giving the judges a decision to make:
“My aim is to perform to my ability and get an impressive stoppage…If I do that I won’t have to worry about the judges. The plan is to steamroll this guy. A win this weekend puts me 4-0 in the UFC in less than a year with the company and that leaves me in a great position…I haven’t shown anything close to my best in the UFC yet. I’m really focused on putting in a quality performance, I owe that to myself. I’ve worked very hard to get to the biggest stage in the world.
“It even gives me a bit of confidence, knowing that I’ve won all three fights in the UFC even though I haven’t fought to the best of my ability. Once I produce my best I’ll prove to people that I belong up there with the guys at the top. That’s what I’m looking forward to most about this fight.”
Everyone at SBG is looking forward to the fight too. Despite feeling like he hasn’t performed as well as he could, Cathal Pendred has won his first three UFC fights – an immense accomplishment for any fighter and a huge testament to the hard work and effort put in by him and everyone at SBG Ireland. Congratulations to them for their ongoing success, and long may it continue! The whole SBG tribe can’t wait to watch Cathal in action this weekend.