Ricardo Ramos will enter the Octagon on Saturday night, but it’s no longer what he was hoping for. His expectation? Fight popular bantamweight Sergio Pettis at UFC Minneapolis. The reality? Welcome unknown Journey Newson to the promotion.
In the end, though, “Carcacinha” told MMA Fighting he’s just happy to get to compete and bounce back from his first loss under the UFC banner.
“I was happy with the Pettis fight,” said Ramos, who saw Pettis pull out two weeks before the event. “I’ve always watched him fight, even before I joined the UFC, so I wanted this fight to happen for a long time, but I have to be ready to fight any opponent no matter who they are and what they do in the cage.”
Pettis has been competing in the UFC since 2013, a year after Ramos made his debut in Brazil. Newson, on the other hand, walks to the Octagon for the first time after compiling a 9-1 record as a professional in MMA.
For Ramos, though, he’s just another body.
“I have to fight anyone,” he said. “I always try to picture my opponent as a body with some skills, and I have to go there and use my skills against his to prove that my technique is better. That’s how I see my fights.”
Despite being another “body”, the Brazilian knows he can’t expect the same things from two different opponents. He wouldn’t say Newson is an easier opponent compared to Pettis, but ruled the match-up “more predictable.”
“Sergio Pettis has many techniques and does unpredictable things, kicks and strikes out of nowhere that surprise you, so it was cool to prepare for that,” Ramos said. “But my new opponent is more of a boxer, has an orthodox style. I’ve fought guys like him before, so I’m used to that even though he’s a bit different. I like to fight guys with his fighting style, more predictable. I believe it will be a fun fight.”
Newson competed twice in boxing rings in 2019. According to BoxRec, the 30-year-old fighter lost a split decision to Shae Green before a majority draw with Gerardo Esquivel.
“He will try to use his best in the fight,” Ramos said of Newson’s hands. “He had some boxing matches and used his hands well in his recent MMA fights. Most of his wins early in his career were by submission, but his last wins were by knockout. He’s on this knockout mode now, so I have to make sure I put him where he’s not comfortable.”
Winning in Minneapolis and getting back on the horse following a quick TKO defeat to Said Nurmagomedov in Fortaleza, Brazil, in February, would mean the world for Ramos, who was 3-0 in the UFC prior to the loss. And even though “Carcacinha” guarantees he’s championship material, he avoids any extra pressure that it might bring.
“People always expect more from you, of course, but I’ve showed what I can do in the UFC and that I have what it takes to be here,” Ramos said. “I have to show myself what I can do in there.
“I don’t worry about proving myself to the UFC, that’s not the type of pressure of put over myself because that takes away your focus. My goal is to become champion and always do my best in there. If you give your best in there, that’s enough. My only concern in this fight is to give 100 percent of what I got.”