“If you’re not growing, then you’re decaying.”
Lando Vannata’s entire UFC journey has been about growing into the best fighter and person that he could be. It started with a short notice debut against top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson and his growth most recently continued with a co-main event victory at UFC 234 in February.
That win at UFC 234 over Marcos Mariano was critical. It helped remind him that he still belongs at this level and, more importantly, it closed the chapter on a bizarre stretch of losses and draws.
“I think that fight did a lot for me personally to be able to reassure myself that I got it,” Vannata said. “It’s hard. Your confidence starts to slide a bit when you’re going through losses, you’re going through draws and you’re going through all the adversity.”
Up next for Vannata is a showdown with Marc Diakiese at UFC Copenhagen. It’s a fight that makes a lot of sense to Vannata, not only because of Diakiese’s style, but because of their similar UFC experiences.
“I’m pretty stoked about this fight because me and Marc have got similar paths,” Vannata said. “We both came in as hotshots, undefeated, had a few beautiful fights in our first few fights and then we had a weird slide. He lost three in a row, I went 0-2-2.
“We both got humbled a bit, we both relaxed a bit, we both grew a lot and we are both definitely better fighters now than when we went through our losses. I’m just really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a great battle between two high-level martial artists.”
Vannata knows he will have his hands full with Diakiese and that’s why he believes the true key to this matchup is focus. And if he can maintain that, he should be able to neutralize the threats of the “Bonecrusher.”
“Marc is very explosive and he’s very dangerous. He throws some wild things out of nowhere,” Vannata said. “So I just have to stay aware of the situation and be aware that at any moment he could throw a punch that could be devastating or a kick that could be devastating. So I just have to be very, very much in a good flow state and be aware of everything that’s going on.”
Watching a Vannata fight is like watching a kung fu movie. His words, not mine. And a kung fu movie is exactly what the fight fans of Denmark might get on Saturday.
But if you’re not sold on watching Vannata and Diakiese throw down, now is the perfect time to remind you that their nicknames are “Groovy” and “Bonecrusher.”
Make sure to tune into UFC Copenhagen to see these two lightweights go to war in what should be one of the best bouts of the event. The main card starts on ESPN+ at 2pm/11am ETPT and the prelims begin at 11am/8am ETPT.