chopping block

Pendred not concerned about being cut by the UFC as he prepares to face Breese

The Irish welterweight takes on the Englishman tomorrow night.

Cathal Pendred Cathal Pendred weighing in today ahead of UFC Fight Night 76. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

SOME BELOW-PAR PERFORMANCES in the UFC have had a detrimental impact on Cathal Pendred’s popularity among some fans, but the Straight Blast Gym welterweight still garners plenty of interest in the MMA community.

At the media day ahead of his clash with Tom Breese tomorrow evening at UFC Fight Night 76, the size of the scrum of reporters that surrounded Pendred was only matched by that of SBG team-mate Paddy Holohan, who features in the show’s main event.

Five fights into his UFC career so far, Pendred has yet to hit top form. Nevertheless, of all the Irish fighters currently in the UFC, only Conor McGregor has picked up more wins.

Pendred started his time with MMA’s largest organisation with four successive victories, but that streak was brought to an end by John Howard in July. If Breese can make it back-to-back defeats this weekend, Pendred might be looking over his shoulder.

Cutting loose a fighter with a 4-2 record in the octagon would be harsh, but with the UFC roster now bigger than it’s ever been, the organisation is becoming more unforgiving when it comes to giving fighters their marching orders. However, Pendred insists that any concerns about being cut won’t be driving him tomorrow night.

inpho_00984228 Cathal Pendred and Tom Breese squaring off ahead of tomorrow night's fight. INPHO / Ryan Byrne INPHO / Ryan Byrne / Ryan Byrne

“I’m always focused on winning my fight so as long as I do that, I don’t have to worry about it,” he told The42. “I wouldn’t let something like that creep into my mindset.”

Pendred made his UFC debut in Dublin last year when a raucous Irish crowd roared him on to victory against Mike King, despite some early difficulties in the bout. The Dubliner is hoping for similar support tomorrow but it’s not something he’s relying on.

“The Irish supporters are incredible when it comes to any sport,” said Pendred. “They were the talk of the Rugby World Cup, just like in the European Championships in soccer a few years ago. The Irish, when it comes to supporting their own, are phenomenal.

“When you’re out there in front of 10,000 Irish fans and they’re just going absolutely crazy with pride and passion, it’s hard not to feed off that. I was in a bad position last year and they gave me energy. I don’t want to rely on that this time but I’m going to feed off it from the get-go and just use that energy from the start to put it on my opponent.”

Tom Breese won his UFC debut by first-round TKO back in May. He and Pendred almost crossed paths during the latter’s reign as Cage Warriors champion, and the Englishman was vocal in his desire to fight Pendred at UFC Dublin before they were officially matched up. But according to Pendred, Breese has bitten off more than he can chew.


Pendred: “He’s young and he’s inexperienced. I think he’s got a bit of confidence about him that he hasn’t really earned yet. He hasn’t had the hard fights. He only had one fight in Cage Warriors, which is a big show.

“When you look at the list of names of opponents that he’s fought, even the one guy he fought in the UFC [Luiz Jorge Dutra], I don’t think they’re as high-calibre as the guys I’ve been fighting and they’re nowhere near the calibre of guy that I am. I think that’s the biggest difference and that’s why he’s in for a shock once I get a hold of him on Saturday.”

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