For those wanting to see Maki Pitolo at welterweight, pump the brakes. The Contender Series alum, looking for his second straight win this weekend at UFC Vegas 6, has big plans for 185lbs.
Pitolo, also known as “Coconut Bombz,” is fighting Darren Stewart — not a bad name for one’s third UFC fight.
“After my Charles Byrd fight, this is exactly what I wanted,” said Pitolo during the UFC Vegas 6 virtual media day. “I wanted a bigger guy, I wanted to have a serious opponent that will potentially wake up the middleweight division and let them know I mean business. A lot of people are thinking that I should bounce back-and-forth between welterweight and middleweight. But this is where I got my contract, this is where I mean business, and this is where I want to be.”
Where he’ll be this weekend is at the UFC Apex, sans crowd. “I miss the crowd. I miss having the crowd out there, I miss the vibes they give out,” Pitolo admitted. “The boos, the cheers, when they see action, they’re cheering louder and louder. That’s what I miss the most. Going out there and having no crowd, it just feels like a big sparring session to me. I really wish they were there.”
There’s a bit of nostalgia in the air at the Apex, however. The UFC’s own arena/production facility, it’s been home to Pitolo’s biggest successes.
“It’s where I got my UFC contract, it’s where I got my first UFC win. This cage means a lot,” he told Cageside Press. “All the cages are home to me, but this one means the most, because it’s where I had my monumental moments.”
UFC Vegas 6 takes place Saturday, August 8, airing live on ESPN+ (TSN in Canada).