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5 talking points as Cathal Pendred wins again in the UFC

It’s four victories in a row now for the Dubliner.

PA-21993295 Cathal Pendred defeated Augusto Montano by unanimous decision at UFC 188.

His best UFC display yet

Again it wasn’t pretty but Cathal Pendred got the job done. Augusto Montano’s reluctance to engage was predominantly to blame for the disappointing spectacle, and while Pendred’s performance wasn’t flawless, it was the best we’ve seen of the Dubliner so far since he joined the UFC last year. Pendred will never be an elite-level striker but he used his stand-up more intelligently against Montano, scoring with some good leg-kicks in particular. Opting to trade with a good striker almost cost Pendred against Sean Spencer, but that wasn’t the case here as he trusted his superior grappling to carry him to victory. This was more like the Cathal Pendred who defeated UFC-calibre opponents like David Bielkheden, Bruno Carvalho and Gael Grimaud en route to winning the Cage Warriors title, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

The investment paid off

Pendred spent almost everything he earned for this fight on a six-week training camp in Mexico. He did so in order to acclimatise to the conditions, having noticed the impact the altitude had on his breathing during a media tour there earlier this year. Pendred reaped the rewards for that decision as his cardio looked much better than that of Montano, who was fighting in his hometown but looked exhausted at the beginning of the third and final round.

So that’s why Montano is called ‘Dodger’

Dodger by name, Dodger by nature. The raucous cheers from the Mexican fans as Augusto ‘Dodger’ Montano entered the octagon were replaced by boos by the end of the first round. Montano was so hesitant to engage that it caused referee Herb Dean to warn him before the beginning of the second round. It was a disappointing showing from a man who entered the bout with a reputation as an exciting knockout artist. His best moment came at the beginning of the second frame when he tagged Pendred with a right hand but otherwise it was a night to forget for Dodger, who tasted defeat for the first time since November 2011 — and just the second time in his career — when he lost a decision to current UFC star Sam Alvey.

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Still undefeated

Cathal Pendred didn’t change the minds of many of his detractors with this win but the reality is that he’s now 4-0 in the UFC, undefeated in 12 bouts in total, and only Neil Magny is on a longer UFC winning streak in the welterweight division. His performances haven’t always been convincing but four wins within his first year in the UFC is a very solid start. Pendred won’t be easily beaten and it’s now nearly five years since his last loss.

Who’s next?

Pendred said before this fight that he wants a top 15 opponent next, with the UFC’s rumoured return to Dublin in October a likely date. Whether he’s done enough to earn that in the eyes of the UFC remains to be seen, but he’s surely deserving of a main-card slot in his hometown this autumn.

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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