Following a unanimous decision win over Bill Alego at Dana White’s Contender Series in June, featherweight Brendan Loughnane was looking for his next opportunity when the PFL stepped up and signed him.
After debuting for the PFL in October with a unanimous decision win over Matt Wagy, Loughnane is looking to close out his year in strong fashion when he returns for his second fight with the company in three months at the end of December.
“I couldn’t be happier with the PFL, to be honest,” Loughnane told MMAWeekly.com. “They’ve got me two fights in before the end of the year. They’re keeping me nice and active.
“(I) fought in the Mandalay Bay (versus Wagy) and now I’m about to fight at Madison Square Garden, it’s a dream come true really. I’m super happy with the win over Matt. I got the job done. I’m looking forward to fighting the next one.”
Though he was able to pick up his second win of the year versus Wagy, Loughnane feels like anything other than a finish isn’t something to be celebrated.
“I’m super critical of myself,” said Loughnane. “I wanted to finish Matt. Anything other than a finish is a loss to me in my head, that’s how much of a perfectionist I am. I wasn’t happy about not getting him out of there.
“Sometimes you’ve got to take (what you get). There’s good guys around that are durable. After watching it back I was a bit more happy, but I’m always looking to get the guy out of there, nothing less.”
On December 31 in New York City, New York, Loughnane (18-3) will look to close out his 2019 on a high note when he faces David Valente (11-4) in a preliminary 145-pound bout at the PFL 2019 World Championships.
“(Valente’s) got a lot of knockouts, I have a lot of knockouts, he’s an explosive striker, and I’m an explosive striker, so it’s going to be a fan-friendly fight,” Loughnane said. “It’s going to be fireworks at MSG, and I’m sure that’s why they matched it. I’m excited for it to be honest.
“There’s pressure with every single fight; especially with the magnitude of the event that I’m about to take part in. Obviously it’s going to be huge. It’s going to be on TV all over America. I’ve been training my ass off for the last six weeks, so my body is feeling it now, but come fight night I’ll be peaking and I’ll be ready.”
Though he has an eye towards the 2020 PFL season, Loughnane knows any chances he could have being part of next year’s championship chase could hang on how he does on New Year’s Eve.
“I’m not looking beyond David Valente,” said Loughnane. “He’s an absolute dangerous competitor; he’s big for the weight, he hits hard, he’s very experienced; so there’s no way I’m looking past him.
“Obviously I’ve got my eye on the 2020 season, but if I don’t get past this there won’t be any 2020 season. My mind is firmly set on this fight, my focus is fully on this fight, and I’m extremely well-prepared.”