Anaheim, CA — His addition to the UFC 270 card is a bit of a happy stroke of luck for Andre Fialho.
The longtime regional standout and former Bellator fighter had stepped up on short notice to face Michel Pereira at last weekend’s UFC Vegas 46. However, the fight was moved back a week— which puts it on a bigger stage, in front of fans at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Fialho (14-3, 1NC) addressed the media during Wednesday’s UFC 270 media day, and noted that the move was an upgrade. “I was sad that I couldn’t get the [co-]main event last week, but it’s even better. It gets even bigger, and I can fight in front of the audience,” the UFC newcomer stated.
The Portuguese welterweight believes the key to beating Pereira is to be himself. “I’ve got to stay composed, relaxed, have my feet sharp, and sooner or later I’ll catch him, and I’ll put him out,” he stated. On the opposite side, he feels Pereira will likely tire himself out with his flashy style.
“I think he’s going to waste energy like he always does. He likes to put on a show. I like to put on a show too in another way. If I stay calm, composed, patient, and focused, I believe I’ll put him out.”
And while Fialho likes to put on a show, he doesn’t agree with Pereira’s notion that exciting fights mean more than winning. “I’m a winner, I like to win. I hate losing. I’ve made some mistakes in my career, in my life, but I corrected them, and I believe now I’m at my best,” he stated.
Asked if Pereira’s ground game was perhaps overlooked, given the Brazilian’s number of submissions, Fialho countered, replying “I don’t know about that, but I’ve had some friends that have trained with him, and they told me that his ground game is not that good. So I don’t know. I guess we’re about to find out Saturday night.”
As to trying to get training partners to recreate Pereira’s style, “I didn’t have time for that,” Pereira told Cageside Press. “They called me Monday night, I took a plane on Tuesday, 5AM, right away. I just gotta be myself, I gotta focus on myself and do what I do best.”
Andre Fialho faces Michel Pereira at UFC 270 on Saturday, January 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. More coverage of Wednesday’s media day can be found below.