Humberto Bandenay’s upcoming fight at UFC Uruguay has a familiar feeling.
The Peruvian fighter is stepping in hostile territory to take on Uruguay’s Luiz Eduardo Garagorri at Saturday’s UFC event in Montevideo. This will be Bandenay’s fourth fight in the promotion, and it’s building up to be much like his UFC debut, which was also in August.
“I’ve thought about the similarities because it’s almost the same date I made my debut, just 5 days from it, fighting someone who’s also 11-0, just like Martin Bravo at the time, Uruguayan, the other one was Mexican in Mexico,” Bandenay told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “Yeah, I’ve thought about it. There are a lot of similarities to my debut.”
Bandenay’s bout on Saturday will be the last fight before the co-main event between Vicente Luque and Mike Perry. The positioning on the card is the highest Bandenay’s had in his short UFC career, which he’s amped for.
“It’s exciting and you can add that to the similarities that happened in Mexico, I also fought in a similar placement,” Bandenay explained. “But I’m just excited to get to show my skills on the main card and do my job.
“I’m always looking to evolve and surprise and something I’m sure of is that this is a much more motivated Humberto, a much more prepared fighter.”
The 24-year-old featherweight enters UFC Uruguay with a rough stretch. Bandenay hasn’t been able to pick up a win since his first-round knockout win in his promotional debut, coming up short against Gabriel Benitez and Austin Arnett.
“The first fight was very short, when I got the arm-bar I fell wrong and I got knocked out in one hit,” Bandenay said. “The second it was perhaps more of a deficit of mine of not training the physical part and not entering the fight 100 percent. I paid the consequences. I’ve learned.”
Bandenay is not letting the two-fight skid affect him entering this crucial bout with Garagorri.
“I’ve tried to leave that behind and focus only on the fight and the present,” Bandenay said. “I’m only focused on this fight, my knockout win, the defeats, that already happened and now it’s only about the fight.
“It’s been complicated with all those moments. Like you said, the visa issues, the defeats, and things that have happened, but they have all left great learning experiences. They happened for a reason. Right now, I have this opportunity in front of me and I’m going to give it my all.”