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Humberto Bandenay reflects on ‘learning experience’ of slam KO loss ahead of UFC Argentina

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Benitez vs Bandenay
Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) in action against Gabriel Benitez (red gloves) at UFC Chile in May
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Humberto Bandenay had a rough time following up his impressive UFC debut.

The Peruvian fighter knocked out The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America season three winner Martin Bravo in his promotional debut, a fight he took on short notice just weeks after the passing of his father. To make that feat more impressive, Bandenay needed less than 30 seconds to secure the win over the then-undefeated Bravo.

Bandenay’s second time out in the Octagon was almost as quick as his UFC introduction — however, the result was much different. The 24-year-old suffered a 39-second KO loss to Gabriel Benitez back at UFC Chile earlier this year.

Bandenay, now set to return at UFC Argentina this Saturday against Austin Arnett, calls his loss to Benitez a “learning experience.”

“It was a learning experience,” Bandenay told MMA Fighting. “With my team, we already saw the mistakes I made, we’re aware of what happened, and we’ve turned the page. This is going to be a different Humberto with another focus and that’s what we’re going to display.”

Bandenay didn’t want to reveal exactly the things he and his team have worked on heading into UFC Argentina, but did say he needed to be more focused right from the get-go.

“Just being more aware and focused on the fight, and other small details that as a team we take care of,” Bandenay explained. “But on the other hand, we didn’t over-analyze it too much because it was a quick fight where in those 39 seconds we both had the opportunity to finish the fight — for me, when I got him in the armbar, and him, when he slammed me.”

Bandenay, who fights out of Pro Fighting Peru, did a lot of his preparation for UFC Argentina with Phuket Top Team in Thailand, where he spent three months.

“And it wasn’t just Muay Thai,” he said. “A lot of people think that Thailand is only Muay Thai, but they also have plenty of wrestling, ground work, and I like that a lot. I think the wrestling level there is very high.”

Bandenay’s 1-1 UFC career consists of a minute and five seconds of work. Yet, despite the short amount of cage time he’s had in the UFC, the Lima native doesn’t want be in the Octagon longer than he needs to.

“If I have the chance to finish the fight right away, I’m going to do it,” Bandenay said. “We’re going to see how this fight develops. The public knows that I like finishing fights, that I don’t like to leave anything in the hands of the judges like I always do.”

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