Pepey, the TUF Brazil season one runner-up, entered his featherweight clash with Lahat at UFC Fight Night 38 with a two-fight skid, but he needed less than three minutes to get the knockout win with a nasty flying knee.
"I’ve been practicing this knee for a while, but I couldn’t use it in my previous fights because I was too nervous," Pepey told the media after the win. "Now I’m back. The lion woke up."
Pepey went 1-2 in the UFC after losing to Rony Jason at TUF Brazil featherweight final, and he says he wasn’t into fighting when he suffered two first-round TKO losses to Felipe Arantes and Sam Sicilia in 2013.
"I wasn’t well in my last couple fights," he said. "I had family and financial issues. People think that UFC fighters are rich, but I have my issues. I cleared my head now, I’m working my mind, and I got better."
According to the 26-yeard-old fighter, he got his focus back thanks to psychological assistance.
"I had psychological assistance and it helped me a lot," Pepey said. "That was my problem. I was coming off two losses, and as I told everyone before this fight, my head wasn’t in the fights. My body and preparation were the best, but my mind wasn’t ok."
Back to the win column, Pepey expects better opponents next.
"I will only get wins from now on," he said. "I suffered a lot to be among the best in the world."