When 2020 commenced as effectively as it could for Diego Ferreira, the rest of the calendar year was stuffed with inactivity and chaos.
Ferreira returns to motion for the very first time in over a year this Saturday when he faces fellow best-15 contender Beneil Dariush at UFC Vegas 18. The lightweight showdown serves as a rematch from UFC 179 in October 2014 where Dariush attained a unanimous selection in opposition to Ferreira, who had stepped in on quick discover.
The Fortis MMA standout created his first and only visual appeal in 2020 at UFC 246 and turn out to be the to start with fighter at any time to post Anthony Pettis, accomplishing so in the second round through rear-naked choke. In between the pandemic cancelling activities, postponed wedding celebrations, personal loved ones issues, even recovering from a bout of COVID-19 himself, Ferreira could not wait to just take the 2020 calendar off the wall and toss it in the rubbish can.
“For me, it was excellent [turning the page to 2021],” Ferreira advised MMA Preventing although appearing on What the Heck. “It’s a excellent feeling just to be teaching the way I required to for this battle, put together myself as a lot as I can with my staff. I’m just ready to step in that cage and do every thing I want to do to win the struggle.”
The decline to Dariush was the 1st of Ferreira’s job, and it was adopted up by the only time he was at any time finished in a fight by Dustin Poirier in April 2015. Due to the fact then, Ferreira has scored 6 straight wins, which includes stoppages of Jared Gordon and Kyle Nelson.
In spite of remaining in the best-10, Ferreira has no problem with battling a dude rated three places powering him—especially if it comes with the chance to negate his 1st loss.
“I’m pleased with it,” Ferreira mentioned. “It was my initially reduction but I have no [extra] fat on my shoulders that I have to go destroy this guy simply because the first time, he didn’t post me. It was one struggle in my occupation and now I have an chance to combat him all over again, but I consider this as a possibility to redeem myself by putting on a superior exhibit. This is almost everything I’ve been waiting around for from [early] 2020 to 2021—put on a great demonstrate for my followers and my relatives to see how significantly I have gotten better from that day.”
Dariush also went via a brief winless skid right before bouncing back again with a lengthy winning streak. “Benny” has gained 5 straight, which includes 4 consecutive finishes: submission wins around Drew Dober and Frank Camacho, along with spotlight-reel knockouts of Drakkar Klose and Scott Holtzman.
Ferreira is well knowledgeable he is going through a substantially enhanced version of the fighter who defeated him various decades in the past. At the exact time, Dariush is heading to have to deal with that similar obstacle.
“For me, it is about likely in there far more centered,” Ferreira defined. “And I know he’s enhanced as a fighter, the same way for me. He’s established that and now we get to deal with each and every other and it is heading to be a show. He throws down, he likes to be the brawler, I like to do factors the identical way and attempt to get the finish. I’m excited for this 1.
“I’ve been amazed with his final two wins. Individuals last two finishes? Who is not gonna be impressed? In blended martial arts, we’ve been amazed with every single other. The way he’s concluded all of individuals fellas has been incredible and it retains me additional on my toes, extra prepared than ever to struggle somebody like that. Now, he’s not a grappler only. He’s a finisher. He’s likely in there to check out and knock you out and which is what I’m looking for. I’m schooling to be quicker, to be more robust, smarter, because that’s what I have to do to put together myself for a combat.”
Aspirations are aplenty for Ferreira in 2021. But to get to wherever he desires to go, he requirements to start off the 12 months the identical way he normally does: with a win.
“I’m a new man heading in there to get a thing I are entitled to,” Ferreira predicts. “[Starting with Dariush], I’m heading in there to consider all those likelihood and get the most finishes I can.”