Carlo Pedersoli Jr. poses on the scale at ECHO Arena on May 26, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Josh Hedges/Getty)
Carlo Pedersoli Jr. for sure knows how to stand out from anonymity in a short amount of time.
His secret was to take several fights on short notice. He began his journey by accepting a bout against former Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight contender Nicolas Dalby at Cage Warriors 93 in April. And he won. Then, he faced Bradley Scott at UFC Liverpool on a couple of weeks’ notice. In that occasion, the Italian fighter defeated his opponent by split decision.
“My UFC debut was an amazing experience,” Pedersoli said to Sherdog.com. “I prepared [for] the fight in a couple of weeks; I had very little time to train. I made it, though. I felt confident that I will make it this time also.”
A couple of weeks after the fight, Scott was flagged by USADA for a potential anti-doping violation during an in-competition test. No further details emerged about the story.
“I don’t even know what my opponent was flagged for,” Pedersoli said. “Maybe he used a little help for cutting the weight, but I sincerely don’t know. I will suspend my judgment until the story is clear.”
Now “Semento,” stepped up to face Alex Oliveira after Neil Magny pulled out of the bout. “Cowboy” has won five of his last seven fights and is coming off a second-round submission against Carlos Condit.
“For me it’s an important opportunity,” Pedersoli added. “I have to seize it and not let it slip by. Saturday, I will try my best not just to win the match, but also to impress the people watching. I want to be seen as an entertaining fighter. I want people to appreciate my fighting style. This is a test for me, a test that maybe I shouldn’t even take in this stage of my career. After my win against Bradley Scott, I could have taken on any kind of fighter and moved up in the rankings gradually. This is a huge leap forward, but you have to take some risks in life.”
Even though he slightly changed his training routine, Pedersoli thinks he found the key to the Brazilian “Cowboy” enigma and he feels confident that he will expose his opponent.
“Oliveira is a good athlete; he often wins and he does it in a fashionable way. He is strong and has some good explosiveness. He does some mistakes, though, both in striking and grappling. I can put him to sleep, I can submit him or I can win this battle on the judges’ scorecards. This time, I’ve trained for a couple of weeks in Rome. Then, I moved to Fort Lauderdale, (Florida) at Henri Hooft’s gym. I had the chance to train with a lot of top-level athletes. I feel ready to bring this win home.”
Brazilian crowds are usually very loud during events. They chant and support their local heroes. The Italian fighter, though, doesn’t think this will affect his match.
“I don’t care about the people surrounding me once I make the walk to the Octagon. I just care about my opponent. I just want that all Italians live a dream once I’m in there.”