Sometimes opportunity comes when we least expect it. Such is the case for featherweight prospect Dillard “Smokin’ Joe” Pegg.
Following a madcap couple of months that saw him fight four times in close succession, Pegg had intended to take some time off when the call came to replace Jeff Curran at Friday’s RFA 8 show against Sergio Pettis.
According to Pegg, while a much-needed rest would have been nice, the chance to headline a show against Pettis was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“It definitely popped up out of nowhere,” said Pegg. “After I fought a couple weeks ago, I told everyone I was going to take a break, but you just can’t turn down an opportunity like this.
“I was definitely happy to get the call and I’m looking to prove a point.”
Pegg hasn’t just been busy this year with four fights already; he’s been producing, having finished all of his opponents in 2013 within the first round.
“My last fight (against Jeremy Pender) was probably the toughest test I’ve had to date,” said Pegg. “But it was pretty much a perfect fight for me. It ended in the first round in 42 seconds. He was a very good ground guy, so I’m very pleased with my win.
“I’ve pretty much imposed my will on everyone I’ve fought this year and finished everyone in the first round.”
Pegg told MMAWeekly.com that he feels his match-up with Pettis could go much the same route if both fighters live up to their highlight reel capabilities.
“He’s a Taekwondo guy, I’m a Taekwondo guy, and I’d love to go toe-to-toe, but this is MMA so I don’t know what his plan is, but it’s one of those things where anything can happen and one shot is all it takes,” said Pegg.
“I’m a do-or-die kind of guy, so I’m going to get in his face – and I’m sure he’s going to be pressing forward a lot too – and I’m sure this fight is not going to last very long.”
While Pegg knows he’s the underdog heading into Friday night, he feels all the weight is on Pettis’ shoulders and that will allow him to go into the fight, relax and let fly.
“100-percent all the pressure is on Sergio,” said Pegg. “I have people surrounding me who believe I can win this fight, including myself, but otherwise he’s expected to win this fight. So it’s all on his shoulders, and all I have to do is go in there and put on a show.
“A lot of people are going to be watching this for Sergio, so if I can do something impressive or pull off the win, that’d be great for my career and it will become a launching point.”