Nate Landwehr is ready to make his move into the UFC’s top 15.
This past weekend, Landwehr was supposed to get his shot at a ranked opponent when he was scheduled to face Alex Caceres at UFC San Antonio. Unfortunately, Caceres was forced out of the bout for undisclosed reasons and instead Landwehr faced Austin Lingo, submitting him in the second round. The win was Landwehr’s third in a row and it earned him his third straight fight night bonus. Now, “The Train” is hoping for a quick turnaround so he can keep chasing down a spot among the featherweight elite.
“I mean, I give it to Lingo, he was a tough opponent,” Landwehr told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “He was game. It just kind of felt easy and I was taking my time, you know, let him work. I knew there’s no way he’s gonna be able to keep the pace, but he kind of broke himself. I mean, I didn’t have to press him too hard and hit him with a little quick look kick to the head. Bam, hurt him, took him down, hit him with a quick *pap*, sunk to choke in. My coaches were super happy. I’m happy, man. I’m not damaged by any means, so we’ll see how quick I can get a turnaround.”
Though it often doesn’t receive the same plaudits as lightweight and bantamweight, the UFC’s featherweight division is one of the deepest and most exciting in the sport, with a number of young contenders recently rising into the top 15. And for his next bout, Landwehr is looking at nearly all of them, though there’s one fight in particular he covets: Movsar Evloev — currently No. 10 at 145 pounds in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings.
“I really like, I think it’d be cool to fight Dan Ige,” Ladnwehr said. “He’s a banger. [See] who’s gonna get the $50K. I’ve always liked that fight. As far as what I think would be really good for the fans, cardio-wise, I feel like ‘Billy Q’ [Quarantillo] got the cardio and the dog in him and that s*** would probably be an instant classic. That’s why I would like that fight, especially with him, if he beats [Edson] Barboza, he’s gonna be probably 14, maybe 13 to depend on how he beats him and that would be a banger.
“I really want the Evloev Movsar fight. That’s a tough one. We got history. Back in M-1, he was the champ, I was the champ. I went to Ingushetia — that’s where he’s from — I fought his boy [Khamzat Dalgiev], beat him, took the title. We had some bad luck. We’re supposed to fight, he caught COVID, so we got history, man. That’s a tough one. Ain’t nobody calling out Evloev. I’ll call his ass out. I’ll fight him, I’ll wrestle him. I’ll wrestle your motherf****** ass!”
Undefeated at 16-0 and a former M-1 bantamweight champion, some consider Evloev to be the dark horse of the featherweight division and, as Landwehr noted, the two were previously scheduled to face each other at UFC Vegas 16 back in 2020. Since then, Evloev has strung together three more wins and also finds himself ranked No. 10 in the UFC featherweight rankings. It would be an undeniably tough fight for Landwehr as he tries to break into the top 15, but as he puts it, he doesn’t have any time to waste.
“I only got one shot in his life,” Landwehr said. “I’m already 34. I can’t wait around and let it pass me, you know what I mean? UFC is giving me every shot I could get. They give me the shine, they give me the little post, they give me leeway, but I just gotta take it. Like I said, that door is unlocked. You just gotta be bad enough to open it, walk through it.”