Brendan Loughnane is confident that 2022 will be the year he is no longer known as the guy UFC President Dana White infamously dismissed.
The Manchester man has achieved a lot in the sport of MMA, but most remember something he failed to accomplish in 2018 during his ill-fated appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series.
DWCS is a show that pits up-and-coming fighters against each other as they seek to earn their shot in the UFC. However, a win isn’t always enough to get a UFC contract because it’s all about impressing White – the big boss – with your performance.
After easing his way to a decisive win over Bill Algeo, who is now a UFC fighter, Loughnane was overlooked by the promotion’s president who suggested he wasn’t cut out for the UFC because of something he did in the final seconds of the fight.
“Let me tell you what you don’t do: you don’t come here, you don’t fight this type of fight and you don’t go for the double leg [takedown] with 10 seconds left in the fight,” White said controversially of refusing to sign Loughnane to the UFC.
Four years later, the 32-year-old has failed to live up to the experience despite an impressive career in the Professional Fighters League.
“It seems to be the most infamous part of my career this Contender series,” Loughnane told talkSPORT.
“It’s something I’m going to wear forever and I can’t really get rid of it. It was 2018, so we go back four years, it’s still the focal point of my career, it crazy.
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Loughnane is eager to change his reputation in the MMA world by becoming a PFL champion and claiming the million dollar prize that comes with it.
“This year, we are going to change that. The main target will be Brandon Loughnane, UK champion, PFL season 2022,” he said.
Away from his infamous meeting with the UFC boss, Loughnane is highly respected in the MMA world and considered one of the best featherweights in the sport.
Unfortunately, the Englishman, who boasts a 22-4 record, has spent most of his career trying to fight his way to promotion that for some reason doesn’t seem to want him.
Ten years ago, Loughnane was featured on The Ultimate Fighter as he tried to make his way into the UFC. After failing in the semi-finals, he received a chance on the TUF Finale card but ultimately fell to a decision loss to fellow countryman Mike Wilkinson.
After years of rejection from the UFC, Loughnane is happy to have found a forever home with PFL, which is quickly becoming one of the biggest MMA organizations on the planet.
“To be honest, I took a bit of a risk because when I signed with them they had no English talent,” he said. “They had some good guys but I was the first with a decent profile to go.”
After watching PFL put together a stacked roster featuring Claressa Shields, Kayla Harrison, Anthony Pettis and Rory MacDonald, Loughnane is happy to have taken the plunge.
“I’m glad I went,” he said. “They treated me with the utmost respect, they are great people to work for, by far the best company I have fought for and I love the support staff and the way they operate. It’s like a dream come true to fight for these guys, it really is.
Loughnane reached the semi-finals of the 2021 PFL season before falling to a split decision loss to Movlid Khaybulaev, coached by Khabib Nurmagomedov.
After failing last year, Loughnane believes he will go all the way this time around and got off to a great start by beating Ryoji Kudo by technical decision in his first fight of the 2022 PFL regular season.