In a turbulent two days, Salford’s own UFC fighter, Pietro Menga has gone from struggling to find an opponent to signing a contract with the biggest MMA organisation in the world of UFC.
Pietro will become the first ever fighter from Salford fighting in the UFC and will look to follow in the footsteps of other British athletes making big waves in the company such as former Middleweight World Champion, Michael Bisping and Light Heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa.
Pietro Menga described the moment he discovered he was going to fight in the UFC, “Funnily enough I was halfway through the most succulent steak you’ve ever seen and I was checking my emails and there it was”.
Welcome to the UFC @ItalianoMMA!?
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) December 5, 2017
Needless to say Pietro immediately put down the steak and accepted to fight one of the world’s top ranked flyweights, Tim Elliot on just under two weeks’ notice.
With a record of 13 wins and 0 defeats and reputation as one of Britain’s best prospects in the sport, the 29-year-old isn’t short on confidence going into this fight, “I’m going in there like every other fight, the difference is that the pressure is off me this time”
He continued, “His jobs on the line, I’ve come in on short notice and if I beat him it’s curtains”.
As well as training full time, Pietro teaches juniors the different aspects of the sport from a young age and is embracing being viewed as a role model by them.
“I’m aware this fight is a risk but I want to show them that you aren’t going to get anywhere in life without taking a risk and prepared to put yourself out there”.
The fight takes place in the flyweight division which is the lightest men’s weight class in the UFC and is home to the pound for pound greatest fighter in the sport, Demetrious Johnson.
A win on the 16th will immediately place Pietro in the title picture at 125lb which is lacking star power. “I’ll take over the 125 division, there aren’t any stars in this division. I’m going to start with a bang and attract eyes to this division”.
Pietro made it clear that he isn’t joining the UFC to make up the numbers and that his goal has always been to be a champion in the UFC and this quest begins a week on Saturday on BT Sport 2 from midnight.
You can watch the full interview with Pietro Menga below: