Tuesday 24 October 2017

'My little sister has bigger legs than him' – Cathal Pendred taunts 'delusional' Tom Breese ahead of UFC showdown

Cathal Pendred in attendance during the UFC Fight Night Ultimate Media Day. 3Arena, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Cathal Pendred in attendance during the UFC Fight Night Ultimate Media Day. 3Arena, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Tom Rooney

Cathal Pendred and his opponent Tom Breese are not renowned for their verbal sparring skills, but the welterweights have decided to change tact ahead of Saturday night’s scrap at the UFC Fight Night 76 in the 3Arena.

Dubliner Pendred was matched with the undefeated Breese after the Birmingham native challenged him in the aftermath of the UFC’s visit tot Glasgow in July.

Breese is a teammate of Joseph Duffy at the Tristar gym in Montreal and made his promotional debut in Brazil last May, when he emphatically finished Luiz Dotra via TKO with a slick combination of punches.

Not only has the 24-year-old won all eight of his professional fights, he’s never gone the distance, and would be considered one of the top prospects to emerge from the UK in years.

Typically reserved, Breese has assumed a more tangible confidence during his brief time with the UFC, and says that in terms of skill, he is vastly superior to Pendred.

It is Pendred’s mental strength, he reckons, that has carried to him to this juncture, and has no doubt he will upset the hometown crowd by emerging victorious.

“I’m confident; I’m and undefeated fighter and I train in one of the best camps in the world,” he said. “I feel unstoppable to tell you the truth. I’m just ready to get in there and put on a good performance.

“For this camp I brought in a very high level grappler from Renzo Gracie academy. I‘ve been sparring some of the best boxers in the world; they’re different level guys to what I’m going to be competing against on Saturday.

“Technically, I believe I’m levels above Pendred. The reason I think Pendred is so good is because he’s delusional. His belief is incredible and he just keeps going, but technically he’s out of his league, to be honest.

“I’m going to get ready for three rounds. Pendred is a tough guy and he keeps going but if the finish is there I’ll take it,” he claimed.

Sitting comfortably fielding questions during the UFC’s media day at the 3Arena, Breese’s theory was put to Pendred and, unsurprisingly, he was in strong disagreement.

“Maybe he has delusional thoughts about what my game is,” Pendred responded.

“I know the extent of my skills, and I train with some of the best guys in the world. I train with jiu-jitsu black belts all the time and I’m matching them. MMA-wise, I’m training with Conor (McGregor), Gunni (Nelson) and all these guys, and skill-wise I’m on the same level as them.

In compassion to Breese, the 27-year-old is significantly more seasoned at the UFC level. Saturday’s bout, which takes place on the preliminary card, will be his sixth with the organisation.

In his most recent outing, against John Howard at UFC 189, Pendred experienced his first defeat since joining with the promotion.

He believes that the disappointing performance may have warped Breese’s estimation of him, but he plans on informing him otherwise once they step inside the octagon. Both are on the large side for the 170lbs weight class, but Pendred is adamant he can outmuscle the Englishman.

“I’m happy he believes that I’m delusional. He wanted this fight; my last few performances have been poor and I think he thinks that that is my standard. He’s in for a rude awakening on Saturday night and as soon as that bell goes that confidence he has in himself will shrink – he’s in for a bad night.

“I still think I can bully him physically. He’s big in the sense that he’s long, but he’s very, very skinny. If you look at his legs, my little sister has bigger legs than him; he reminds me of a stick insect almost. I want to bully him because I want to shrink his confidence. I can do that and I believe I will do that,” he said.

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