After a big win on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019, Dusko Todorovic’s biggest struggle has been getting in the octagon.
“It was a long, long trip to my debut, unfortunately due to COVID and everything. I would definitely like to be more active in 2021,” the Serbian fighter admitted to Cageside Press this week, speaking at a virtual media day for UFC Fight Island 7. Todorovic (10-0) has been paired up with another undefeated fighter, Punahele Soriano, at the event. “As long as I’m healthy and I get enough time to prepare and just give my maximum, I’m down for it. I’d like to have at least two or three fights in 2021. That would be great.”
After his performance on the Contender Series, of course, it was over a year until he could finally make his octagon debut. He kept that 0 intact in the process, defeating Dequan Townsend by TKO this past October.
Keeping that 0 is a dream of Todorovic’s. “It’s my goal, definitely to stay undefeated for my whole career,” he admitted. “And there is always pressure, even when I was 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, there is always, a bit of pressure that you feel. But that never goes away, you just learn how to deal with that. And I believe I am dealing with with that pressure pretty well. I have just learned to cope with it.” That includes being in control of both his mind and body, to ensure that in the end, the pressure to remain undefeated doesn’t “influence my preparation or my performance at the fight itself. So I think I have pretty good control over it, and it doesn’t affect me that much.”
As for Soriano, “I think he’s a very, very good opponent. Very dangerous guy. Definitely. And he’s undefeated for a reason. I’m definitely thinking that he’s very good.” Todorovic is well aware of his opponent’s collegiate wrestling pedigree. “That’s pretty big for a fighter to have.” The Hawaiian’s striking is dangerous as well, Dusko observed. “So yeah, I respect him very much and I believe he’s gonna be a tough opponent.”
Entering his second fight in the UFC, Todorovic has goals. Keeping that undefeated record. Getting into the rankings. But he knows that the middleweight division is “stacked with potential and talent right now. So I don’t expect to do one, two, three fights and then be called in the top fifteen. I think I’m going to have to earn my place there, and it’s going to take some time.” A couple of years, even. “A year or two, I will be a top fifteen, top ten ranked fighter,” he suggested.
UFC Fight Island 7, featuring Dusko Todorovic vs. Punahele Soriano, takes place this Saturday, January 16 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs live on ABC (TSN in Canada).