After an unsuccessful debut in July of this past year, Carlos Felipe got his sophomore assignment for October against powerful puncher Yorgan De Castro. After out-working the Cape Verdean native on the feet for the better part of fifteen minutes, Felipe took home a decision and his first UFC win. Although that win is always a good feeling, Felipe felt a lot of that validation in his first fight as well.
“[Getting that win] was very amazing. I made a good fight out of it. I made it a good fight in my debut too, but the decision didn’t come,” Felipe said of his majority decision loss to Sergey Spivak. “I disagree with the decision; I think I won that fight.”
With a win under his belt now, Felipe was able to put that decision behind him and begin to focus on the future. The immediate future of course is a UFC Fight Island 7 date with Justin Tafa, but Felipe has his eyes set on things even further down the road as well.
“I told this to my manager yesterday. I think they will put me against Andrei Arlovski after I win against Tafa,” he said. “I don’t know why, but I feel it. It’s nothing personal, it’s just a feeling.”
Some of that feeling represents the hopes of Felipe. While Arlovski isn’t the champion-level talent that he once was, he does still have that moniker that Bruce Buffer rattles off prior to a fight. For that, Felipe likes the idea of possibly facing the Pitbull.
“He’s not my idol, but I respect him. He is a good fighter, he’s been in the UFC for a long time – I have much respect for him,” Felipe said. “But he’s a good name for me to get to the higher parts of the division.”
But as Felipe said before, it isn’t just hopes – a lot of this fantasy matchmaking is gut feeling. Despite the fact that you never really know what the UFC brass is thinking of next, he has some legitimate reason to believe he might be next for Arlovski with a win.
“And the UFC, every time there is a Brazilian fighter with a 2- or 3-win streak they put him against Andrei Arlovski,” Felipe theorized. “So that’s one of the reasons I think they will put me against him.”
He isn’t entirely wrong either. Junior Albini, Augusto Sakai and Philipe Lins were all riding win streaks before they squared off with Arlovski, and that’s just in the last 3 years.
Of course, this supposed booking with the Belarusian hangs on the prospect of Felipe picking up a win over his Australian counterpart this month. He wouldn’t be speaking as freely about futuristic matchups if he wasn’t confident of the impending result
“I think it will be a second round technical knockout. I will pressure him a lot and hurt him a lot,” he said confidently. “Sometime in the second round, he will break. He will break.”
Felipe’s fight with Justin Tafa takes place on UFC Fight Island 7 on January 16 as part of the preliminary portion of the card.
(You can listen to the entire audio of this interview at 33:20)