Gabriel Miranda, or just Gabriel Fly, will act on a ‘neutral field’, at UFC Apex, and under equal conditions. In this way, he wants to show again why he is one of Brazil’s hopes in the category.
In an exclusive interview with Torcedores.com, the Brazilian with a 17-6 record spoke about playing ‘away from home’ in his first commitments for the organization. Gabriel Fly also planned his next commitment against Billy Quarantillo at UFC Vegas 89, scheduled for March 23rd.
In his first two fights for the UFC, Gabriel faced two opponents who worked in their respective countries. On one of these occasions, he faced a duel against a well-known opponent, outside of his original division, the featherweight division.
“I don’t think so (it’s an additional difficulty), I actually like this climate. Everyone is against it, it motivates me to ruin the guys’ party”, said Gabriel Miranda about fighting in his opponents’ ‘home’.
“But one of my goals in the UFC is to fight at home, I was present at some events here in Brazil and morale, the energy of our people is very angry. I can’t wait to catch a foreigner here in Brazil, so I can feel this other side of the coin”, said Gabriel Fly to our reporter, revealing his desire to fight on Brazilian soil.
Fight against sensation Benoit Saint-Denis
Gabriel Fly has won one and lost another since signing with the UFC. However, it should be noted that the setback was for the name of the moment in the lightweight division, Benoit Saint-Denis. At the time, the Brazilian took the fight at the last minute, with two weeks to go before the event in question.
Regarding the lack of success against the Frenchman, Gabriel praised Benoit and highlighted the difference between fighting in both categories.
“Benoit is trouble, I see him as a future lightweight champion. There was a clear difference in size between him and me. I took this fight after nine days, I had no training camp and I was practically at weight”, recalls Fly.
“I’ve fought at lightweight before, but I did specific work to move down to featherweight and when you change category a lot happens, including strength and absorption”, points out the Brazilian.
“The victory was his merit, but certainly with a complete training camp and specific work to fight at lightweight, my performance would be different”, he says about the clash.
Gabriel Fly’s next UFC fight
After his defeat to Benoit Saint-Denis in the lightweight division, the Brazilian returned to the featherweight division and was not aware of Shane Young in his homeland, Australia, at UFC 293.
Motivated by this triumph, the Brazilian now faces the experienced Billy Quarantillo, owner of an 18-5 record and who has six of his last eight fights going to the judges’ decision.
Gabriel Fly, on the other hand, has a more aggressive style, and usually finishes his fights in the fast lane. Regarding this difference in playing style, the Brazilian told us that he intends to finish the fight as soon as possible.
“Man, Billy is a tough guy, no wonder he never got submitted. I always train to fight three rounds, but I’m a finisher. A teacher once told me: ‘Whoever stitches is a seamstress, we have to go to finish!’”, emphasizes Gabriel Fly, signaling an offensive stance in the fight.
“I will always look for the submission and this fight is perfect for me. He has a lot of fights in the UFC and people like him. There are a lot of people who will see this fight and who still don’t know me. So, this fight will give me great visibility. I’m going to finish!“, stated Gabriel, who added his speech showing confidence in his victory.
“But if I need to fight him for three rounds, I’ll be ready for that. Whether by submission, knockout or score at the end, my hand will be raised and many people who don’t believe it will be open-mouthed at my performance”, promises the Brazilian.
“It’s not for them, it’s for me. I went through a lot to get here and I’m not going to let anyone take that away from me,” she adds.
Asked who would be the ‘man’ in the future of the featherweight division, Gabriel Fly recalled a rival from Brave’s time, the Spaniard Ilia Topuria.
Current challenger to Alexander Volkanovski for the category belt, Topuria almost faced the Brazilian for the belt in his former company.
However, the fight did not happen, as the Spaniard ended up signing with the UFC beforehand and, maintaining his undefeated record, could be the new champion after UFC 298, the event in February.
“Man, there are a lot of good people in this division, featherweight and lightweight it is literally a jungle, there are no easy fights. But I have an old beef with a certain arrogant and talkative Spaniard”, said Gabriel Fly, referring to Topuria.
“We were supposed to fight for the Brave belt, he said a lot of things at the time, and so did I. But it turns out he entered the UFC earlier and it’s a fight away at the moment. I’m going step by step to consolidate my career in the UFC, but eventually we’ll meet for sure”, said Gabriel Miranda.
Gabriel Fly debuts at UFC Apex
Brazilian Renato Moicano, one of the protagonists of UFC Vegas 85 this coming Saturday(3), said he doesn’t like fighting at UFC Apex, the home of Ultimate that has hosted most of the recent ‘Fight Nights’.
Moicano was controversial when he mentioned that the absence of the public is something that none of the fighters like. However, for Gabriel Fly the fact ends up not weighing much and after fighting in two packed arenas in his first two commitments, he will have no problem fighting in front of fewer people.
“Man, the UFC is the UFC whether it’s at the MGM (Grand Garden Arena) or the Apex. It’s the biggest event in the world. There are guys who feel good with fans, others don’t”, said Gabriel.
“It’s very individual, but I’m happy to be living my dream. I paid a high price to be here today and for me, fighting in the UFC will always be incredible wherever it is. I’ve already fought for 50 reais, so I’ll be excited to fight at Apex”, concluded the Brazilian.