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Diego Ferreira asked for an advance for UFC in St. Louis: “I’m three months behind on training in the gym”


Diego Ferreira has plenty of reasons to give his best performance against rising prospect Mateus Rebecchi at UFC St. Louis on Saturday night.

Ferreira and his wife welcomed their first daughter into the world four months after his May 2023 knockout victory over veteran Michael Johnson ended an awkward three-fight skid and gave him new purpose. Ferreira, also a father of four boys, is now looking at his career with new eyes.

“That’s why I’m coming back,” Ferreira told MMA Fighting. “This motivated me even more. As a family man, I have to provide for my family. This sport gives my family a future. I love to compete, but it's a brutal sport. You have to be wise and know when to get in and out, and I know that moment will come for me too. I've been in the UFC for 10 years. This moment is coming. I don't want to see it, but I know it's there. I love my children and my family and that's why I fight. I have to give 100 percent in the Octagon for my four boys and my girl.”

Was out for almost a year after defeating Johnson and getting the win. Performance of the night As a bonus, Ferreira said he asked UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby for a portion of his fee in advance to help pay the bills.

He's aiming to make enough of an impression in St. Louis to get another extra check for $50,000.

“I fought the toughest guys in the division and never turned down a fight,” Ferreira said. “I was going to fight Clay Guida on June 1 (at UFC 302), but Guida got injured and I didn’t want to waste any more time. I was focused on fighting and needed money. I was three months behind in the gym, I had a newborn, so there was so much pressure on me. I wouldn't miss this opportunity.”

Rebecchi is currently 3-0 in the UFC with back-to-back wins over Loic Radjabov and Roosevelt Roberts in 2023, but Ferreira has defeated the likes of Anthony Pettis, Mairbek Taisumov, Rustam Khabilov and Olivier Aubin-Mercier throughout his nine matches. -5 Career in the UFC.

“He's a tough guy,” Ferreira said of Rebecca. “I remember coming into the UFC at 10-0 and learning a lot. I didn't have the mindset that I have today. This fight is perfect for me to show that I'm still here. One day I want to fight for the belt. This guy has 19 wins, but he hasn't fought anyone yet. This will be the first experienced opponent he will face. This is the difference between him and me. I'm not taking anything away from him, but that's how I see it. No joke, I'm scared of myself because of how good I feel right now.”

Ten years ago, Rebecchi was stopped by Pavel Kilek in his first and so far only MMA loss.

A black belt in jiu-jitsu, Ferreira sees opportunities in his field to explore on Saturday.

“I want the submission,” Ferreira said, “especially because I knocked out last time, but in a fight it’s never 100 percent. But I will emerge victorious by submission in the second round. I think I'll get a good pace off him and get him the win in the second round. If he’s not submitted, I’ll knock him out.”


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