Brendan Loughnane’s debut has been the key talking point of tonight’s PFL event at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas and the surging English featherweight believes that in time he can become one of the biggest stars under the promotional banner.
Loughnane made it clear that he wanted to return to the UFC for a number of years, but after not being offered a contract on the back of a one-sided win over Bill Algeo on Dana White’s Contender Series, he signed with PFL.
Speaking the day before his meeting with Matt Wagy, the All Powers fighter insisted that he made the right decision in terms of what banner to fight under.
“It’s everything I could’ve hoped for…it’s been amazing,” Loughnane told MMA Fighting.
“I can’t complain, really. PFL have really got behind me. I’m the only U.K. fighter on the roster now. I feel like this is the perfect home for me. We talked about it before I went out here and you felt as though it would catch on like this, I honestly didn’t know that it would—I didn’t expect it to be this good but it is.
“You don’t get treated like this in the UFC or in any other organization in the world,” he added. “They’ve put me up in a suite and they’ve really made me feel welcome. I really feel blessed to be part of this organization.”
Despite his elevated status ahead of his promotional debut, Loughnane insisted that he does not feel any additional pressure.
“The pressure question is one that I keep getting asked, but it just feels normal. It just feels like another fight for me. The last on felt like it was a lot of pressure and the one before that, but no, I feel great.”
Currently, Kayla Harrison is one of the best known fighters under the PFL banner, but based on the hype surrounding his debut, Loughnane thinks he too can become one of the front runners for the organization.
“This is my aim,” he replied when he asked if he could rival Harrison in terms of the interest she brings to the table. “I’m in here now, I’m gonna take this guy out in spectacular fashion and if they’re already treating me like this now when I haven’t even had a fight yet, what’s going to happen tomorrow night when I spark this kid out?”
The European fan-favorite has previously underlined that he holds no ill will towards White — who blamed Loughnane’s late takedown attempt on Algeo as the main reason he wasn’t signed — but believes the news of his debut will reach the the UFC president.
“For him to urge people to sign me…obviously someone was going to sign me,” Loughnane said. “You know I’m just really excited to put the brakes on this guy and I’m sure [White] will be watching at some point or he’ll see it on social media and then it is what it is.”