UFC Atlantic City’s Angel Pacheco Thought His Career Was Over After DWCS

Angel Pacheco, LFA
Angel Pacheco, LFA 82 Credit: Legacy Fighting Alliance

One of the most memorable fights from season 7 of Dana White’s Contender Series was a brawl between Danny Silva and Angel Pacheco. After three wild rounds that saw insane action and a badly injured ear, Silva saw his hand raised with an unanimous decision.

Despite the solid performance, Pacheco was left feeling like he missed an opportunity. Having poured his life into it, he now began to doubt if it was time to let this sport he loved so much go.

“I was feeling like I failed and like I wasn’t going to be able to continue doing this sport as a career,” Pacheco recounted. “A couple years back, I had quit my regular job and focused on MMA. My wife and myself saved up money so that I could do that… it just felt like I failed my family essentially.”

While backstage, he was paid a visit by the boss himself. Although Dana White came baring a gift, it did little to raise Pacheco’s spirits.

“I was pretty emotional and I got to talk to Dana [White] right after the fight,” he said. “He said good job and told me I got my win bonus. I aprpeciated it, obviously, but that was the last thing I was thinking about.”

Pacheco used this encounter as the perfect opportunity to let his future boss know that he’d be willing to step in and fight at the drop of a hat should he ever need a late replacement. That mentality, combined with the entertainment from the fight, went over well with White as he made Angel Pacheco one of just two (now three) fighters on Contender Series to lose and get a contract anyways.

“I was in the hospital and Danny [Silva] was like two or three steps away from me. We were both in the hospital,” Pacheco recalled. “At this point I had talked to my wife and talked to my head coach, Brock Larson. He was still watching the broadcast and he said ‘Oh, my God! Oh, my God! You just got into the UFC’. And I said ‘shut up.”

After being convinced that it was for real, Pacheco got to reverse the news to his wife and start working towards the future again. Now he’ll look to shut up the haters instead.

He’ll get a chance to prove again that he belongs at UFC Atlantic City this Saturday against Caolán Loughran. That fight takes place on the ESPN+ prelims starting at 7pm EST.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 17:40.