ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Lando Vannata embraces the uniqueness of his UFC run, but he hopes UFC on ESPN+ 25 is the turning point toward normalcy.
The UFC record of Vannata (10-4-2 MMA, 2-4-2 UFC) speaks for itself. He’s one of the few fighters in company history to fight to a draw twice, and the judging in some of his losses was questionable, at best.
Keeping his head straight through the rollercoaster of results has been Vannata’s biggest challenge, he said. However, he claims to be in a very good place going into the next fight and sees his lightweight clash with Yancy Medeiros (15-6 MMA, 6-6 UFC) being the moment where the narrative changes.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint in this sport,” Vannata told MMA Junkie at UFC on ESPN+ 25 media day on Thursday. “I’ve definitely got the weirdest record in the UFC right now. I don’t think anyone else has two draws. Very unique. I think everyone knows what I’m capable of when I do show up, when I do perform, when I am physically, mentally on point. Right now I am very much that, and I am very much looking forward to putting on an epic fight.”
UFC on ESPN+ 25 takes place Saturday at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, N.M. The entire event is set to stream on ESPN+.
For Vannata, this couldn’t be a more perfect event. He lives and trains in New Mexico, and after going to Denmark and Australia for his past two fights is relishing the opportunity to not travel and sleep in his own bed during fight week.
That type of relaxation is exactly what he needs going into a matchup with Medeiros, who, like Vannata, has a high-action style and is capable of winning a fight-night bonus each time he steps into the octagon.
In terms of the matchup, though, Vannata said it plays in his favor.
“Yancy man, he’s a tough, gritty vet,” Vannata said. “He’s a stud. He’s been in there with the who’s who, as well, and he gets down for a throw down. But he’s been through some worse wars than I have. He’s been finished a handful of times, and I’ve only been submitted once, and I’m looking to take full advantage of that and get a finish here.”
With only one official win in his past six fights, it’s hard for Vannata to talk about where he fits in the 155-pound division. He knows what his potential is, though, and although it might not always show on paper, Vannata said it can – and will – at any moment in the octagon.
“I’m always looking to climb that ladder,” Vannata said. “I feel like I can do amazing things in this sport, I feel like I have a talent that’s top-tier and I’m hungry to finally get that ball rolling.”