A win for Pendred tomorrow night would see him achieve main card staus. Rodrigo Romos/INPHO
back in boston

'I could be fighting in a Kerry GAA hall' - Pendred not fazed by Boston homecoming

The fighter moved to Dublin from America when he was four.

— Niall Kelly reports from Boston

FIGHTING IN BOSTON has long been a dream for Ireland’s rising UFC star Cathal Pendred.

But when he steps into the Octagon on Sunday night, he says he might as well be in a GAA hall in Kerry as in the famous TD Garden.

Pendred, who was born in Boston before moving to Dublin at the age of four, faces Sean Spencer in the final preliminary card bout where he is hoping for his third straight win under the UFC banner.

“This is a massive platform for me,” he told The42 at Friday’s media day.

“A really impressive performance for me catapults me into main card status. Not only that, it also brings me closer to fighting ranked fighters in the UFC.

“It’s easier to make your way to the top once you’re in there. The first step is to get in there. If I beat this guy, I know I’ll be on the main card in my next fight and hopefully in the top 15 then after that.”

Pendred’s family flew in to join him in Boston on Thursday but the 27-year-old says there will be plenty of time for reminiscing about the place they used to call home once business is taken care of.

“The first few days were amazing and I was loving it but then I took a step back to focus on the fight.

“My family arrived over yesterday so I embraced it a bit more again but they even said to me, forget about it, the fight is the most important thing.

“That’s the way I’m feeling now. It doesn’t matter. I could be fighting in Kerry in a GAA hall, it doesn’t matter. It’s the fight I’m focused on.

“Myself and my family are staying here for a week afterwards so we’re going to do all the sights, find the places we lived and stuff.”

Virginia native Spencer is 3-2 in the UFC having bounced back from defeat to Alex Garcia with a unanimous decision win against Paulo Thiago in Brazil in September.

“He’s got three wins in the UFC so on paper he looks like a step up from my last fight but stylistically, I think it’s a fight that really suits me,” Pendred said.

“This guy is light on his feet, looks to keep it standing, and I’ve been working a lot on my stand up so I think I’m gonna surprise him on my feet.

“But I also have my wrestling in the bank that may come into play if needs be and I think I’ll be dominant in that area.

“I think it will be an impressive victory,” he added.

“I’m looking to get this guy out in the first round but it may take me until the second, I have to see what way this guy reacts to my pressure.

“An impressive victory — I won’t say one-sided — but very decisive.”

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