Callan Potter looks to rectify his UFC debut this weekend.
Speaking with MMA Junkie ahead of his fight at UFC 243 this Sunday, October 6, he discussed the disappointing outcome of his first UFC fight and the opportunity to redeem himself before his own people.
“It’s really upsetting. Sadly, fighting is not a fairytale sport. I do get the late call up, I get to fight in my hometown in front of my own people – get knocked out in under a minute. That’s the sport. As much as sometimes you’re on the other end of it, that’s why I love it so much. The fact that I get to fight again in my hometown – you wanna talk about redemption; there’s no better redemption story than this.”
Jalin Turner finished Potter (17-8) via TKO in just 53 seconds at UFC 234 in February this year. One takeaway from the fight was the decision to move back up to welterweight and put on some size.
“I did have one more fight before I made the UFC at welter. At that stage I still saw myself as a lightweight fighting at welter. Now I’m a welterweight. I’ve put the size back on, put on a lot of strength and still managed to keep really good movement and really good fitness, which I was a little bit worried about at the start, but now I feel sensational. I feel like a proper welterweight now.
While a bonus to compete at home again, Potter’s only competitive stipulation was fighting at a more comfortable weight.
“They had no obligation to give me a second fight, I was happy they were and I was really grateful. I was happy to fight anywhere, anytime. The only thing I was asking for was to go back up to welterweight. That lightweight cut’s become a little bit unrealistic now, so getting back up to welterweight, I was happy to go to Antartica and fight a penguin for all I care, as long as I was back up to welterweight.”
This time round, he’ll take on Maki Pitolo, a 28-year-old Hawaiian boasting a record of 12-4 who will be making his own promotional debut.
The bout will air on the preliminary card of UFC 243, which will be held at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Sunday, October 6. The card is headlined by a middleweight title fight between champion Robert Whittaker and interim champion Israel Adesanya.