Carlo Pedersoli Jr. poses on the scale at ECHO Arena in Liverpool, England. (Photo: Josh Hedges/Getty Images)
Italian prospect Carlo Pedersoli Jr. will make his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut at UFC Fight Night 130 on Sunday in Liverpool, England, where he meets Bradley Scott as a short-notice replacement for the injured Salim Touahri. The 25-year-old joins the UFC roster on a seven-fight winning streak.
“I was already confident that the call would arrive soon,” Pedersoli said to Sherdog.com. “I was expecting it to come in a month or two, as I saw that they announced a lot of welterweight bouts. I knew I was close to the call since I defeated Nicolas Dalby [on April 28]. I took the short-notice [assignment] less than 10 days ago. When my manager called me, I answered ‘yes,’ even though I didn’t even know my opponent’s name. I first thought it was Neil Magny, whom I knew was looking for an opponent.”
The Gloria Fight Center representative has kept a busy schedule recently, with seven appearances between 2016-18. Included in those were starts in Cage Warriors Fighting Championship, Venator Fighting Championship, Real Xtreme Fighting and Magnum Fighting Championship. His win over Dalby at Cage Warriors 93 put him on the map.
“I fought five times in the last year,” Pedersoli said. “I just had enough time to recover from my last battle, also taken on short notice, with Nicolas Dalby. I hadn’t had a full camp in months, because prior to the fight with Dalby, I was coming off of an injury. I will fight with all my heart. I think heart defines a true warrior more than the technique. It’s an honor for me to represent my country in the UFC. I knew since a I was a kid I was going to fight in the UFC someday. I’m very happy, but I still have to prove myself to the world.”
Scott owns a 3-4 record inside the Octagon and finds himself on the rebound following a technical knockout loss to Jack Hermansson in his most recent appearance. The former middleweight has elected to downshift to 170 pounds in hopes of improving his results.
“Bradley Scott is a heavy-handed striker,” Pedersoli said. “I’m very curious to see how fast he will move. I’m going to stick to my game plan. I usually like to study my opponent and then start bringing the fight in the direction I want. I never rush things. I also know that Scott will be heavier than me, but he seems to decrease his fighting rhythm going into the second and third rounds. I know I can win this fight, but it will be a tough challenge for me for sure.”
Pedersoli has the backing of MMA fans back home. Beloved in Italy, he is the grandson of Bud Spencer, the famed Italian actor who died in 2016.
“I want to thank the Italian MMA community, which is supporting me and cheering for me,” Pedersoli said. “I want to say to all of you guys that you will be inside that cage with me. I’m feeling all your energy.”