Dublin 9's UFC product Cathal Pendred has admitted that he is targeting five wins in the space of a calendar year.
Since 19 July 2014 Pendred has racked up four wins on the trot in MMA's top-tier competition against Mike King, Gasan Umalatov, Sean Spencer and last Saturday against Augusto Montaño in Mexico City, to go 4&0.
If the north Dubliner could get a fifth fight in the next five weeks, and win it, he will become the only active fighter on the roster to go 5&0.
“I’m hoping to get in again in the next five weeks. There’s a lot of events coming up in the next five weeks and if I was to get in for 19 July, get another fight at short notice, and get a fifth win, I would be the only active UFC fighter who has won their first five UFC fights in less than a year," said Pendred.
“That would be a nice feather in my cap. There’s a lot of fights in the welterweight division coming up, I counted 16 or 17, in the next five weeks, so that’s 32 to 34 fighters. There’s always injuries, that’s just the nature of the sport, if any of them pull out I’m ready to go.
“I’ve been over training at altitude [in Mexico] for the last six weeks. I’m not partying or anything, I’m staying in shape, I’m ready to go.
“Fingers crossed we’ll be seeing myself in the octagon quite shortly.”
“Being over at altitude has me in the best shape of my life. I could knock another out of the park tomorrow if they wanted me to” - Cathal Pendred
Pendred saw off Montaño on a unanimous decision but was largely disappointed with the fight, and an opponent that refused to engage for the majority of the battle. The Irishman feels he has plenty more to give but wants to get opponents that are more combative in the octagon that will in turn bring out the best of his own fighting abilities.
“I’m still a bit disappointed. The result was the most important thing – another step forward," said Pendred. "But I had prepared very hard, took extra measures this time around, going out to Mexico six weeks in advance.
“It’s probably the most prepared for a fight I’ve ever been. I was expecting to come in against this guy who in all his previous fights has been this really aggressive, come-forward fighter, and from the opening bell he just seemed to retreat and run away, which made it very difficult for me to impose my will or my game on him.
“It made for a lacklustre performance.
“I got the win but I would have liked to have done it more impressively."
Pendred also admitted that frustration got the better of him at times but that he feels he managed to rein in his anger, but that he needs more exciting fights to boost his market value with the UFC decision makers.
“I did get frustrated and at one stage I got wild chasing after him and that was the one time he landed a punch on me. I didn’t lose the head and I’m pleased with that," said Pendred.
“But that’s what’s different about the fight game. Other sports like football, where the rules are all that matters, it doesn’t matter if you win 1-0 or 10-0 once you get your points, in the fight game it’s slightly different. The more impressively you win the quicker you climb up the ranks, the more notice you get.
“Had I won more emphatically, more impressively, that would have done a lot more for me than just winning.
“But I’ll just get on with it and move on with it. I’m four from four in the UFC.
“I’m completely unscathed after that fight; I don’t have a scratch on me.
“I’m on the second-longest winning run in the welterweight division, and I’m knocking on the door. And with the rumoured event in Dublin, this is setting me up nicely for a big-name opponent for that.
“Being over at altitude has me in the best shape of my life. I could knock another out of the park tomorrow if they wanted me to.”