Peruvian grappler Humberto Bandenay is focused on getting his career back on track after three years in the UFC.
On Friday in Bogota, Colombia, Bandenay features in a Naciones MMA event where he will take on Sebastian Piedrahita live on DAZN.
Bandenay’s goal is to return to a big circuit like the UFC to pick up where he left off and eventually be crowned champion, but first he’ll have to get past his fellow countryman.
“For me it’s a great opportunity, not only to present myself on a big platform, where I know that many will see me, but also because I know the hunger that my opponent brings. I have analysed Sebastian and together with my team (Dogo Training Center) we found the right strategy to take the victory,” Bandenay told DAZN.
“I’m young, but I have a lot of experience in big events, with a lot of fights. My purpose is to concentrate on my career and what I’m doing. To be able to do good things later on.
“I think my opponent is called Piedrahita and I take it like that, as if he is just another stone in my way to achieve my goals. But I don’t trust my experience, because at the end of the day it’s outside the cage, I’ve had to fight fighters with more experience and I’ve beaten them. That’s why I respect Pitbull too much and the trajectory he has. I know how hungry he is, but I’m not going to let him down.”
On the other side of the cage will be Piedrahita, a 30-year-old fighter with a record of 9-2-0, who believes a win over Bandenay will be the opportunity he needs to kickstart his MMA career.
A designer by profession, Piedrahita is forced to adjust his schedule in order to train, and hopes this fight will be a breakthrough that will help lead to bigger challenges and gain recognition.
“It’s a very big challenge because it’s a fight against someone very experienced who has a very good record and has fought in big franchises like UFC. First it represents an important fight in my career. I fought two months ago and we took this fight as a big challenge to face. It would be a huge accomplishment for me for what we’ve worked for for so long. We’re going to push the boat out until we win,” Piedrahita said, whose love for combat sports was inspired by boxing’s Klistchko brothers before making the jump to MMA.