Gavin Tucker’s featherweight match-up with Billy Quarantillo at UFC 256 is unofficially the third time the pair have been booked. The second with contracts signed. Originally expected to face off back in April, the coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench in the works.
On Saturday night, December 12, the pair will finally throw down. And the delay has seen both men continue fighting — giving Canada’s Tucker (12-1) a chance to do even more homework.
“I like to study as much as I can. So the more footage I have, the better,” Tucker told Cageside Press during a UFC 256 virtual media day this week. “I think he’s fought twice since we were originally booked. So it’s nice to see a little more habits, see the growth, see the direction that he’s headed in and turn it into something that we can use for strategy.”
When it comes to that strategy, Tucker has a certain style of fight in mind. Of course, first, he’ll need to see what Quarantillo’s intentions are. “I think once I understand what the intentions are, we’re going to take one of two directions. But from my end, I’m looking to make this fight a real technician’s fight,” Tucker explained. “I know he comes with a lot of aggression, and he’s going to try to make it dirty. I think that’s his best route. So I’m going to make it super clean.”
Of course, things don’t always go as planned. And if that’s the case, Tucker later added, “if the scalpel doesn’t work, then we use the hounds.”
With two consecutive submission victories already, a statement win over Quarantillo could push Tucker to bigger and better things inside the octagon. While he’s enjoying the path he’s on now, the Canadian has observed a certain pattern in the UFC’s matchmaking.
“I’m noticing in the matchmaking, when a guy starts stepping up and starts looking towards the top 15, they get tested with someone who’s got that veteran experience. So I think something like that would be good,” suggested Tucker. “And God willing if I get this victory, I’ll be on a three fight win streak.”
While he didn’t want to call out specific names, Tucker noted that veterans like Ricardo Lamas and Alex Caceres are out there. Caceres in particular is on a three-fight win streak as well. Calling “Bruce Leeroy” a good next logical step, “that might be something Sean [Shelby]’s looking at,” the Canadian said.
Watch the full UFC 256 virtual media day pres scrum with Gavin Tucker above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 12 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.