There is a definite buzz among both fans and fighters throughout Brazil as the UFC prepares to hold its second event in the South American country this weekend.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, UFC 142 will take place at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will be broadcast live on Pay-Per-View television around the world.
“There is a lot of hoopla down here about [UFC 142],” said Carlo Prater (29-10-1). “We usually fight in the States or in Europe so it’s a big deal to be fighting here in Brazil. It’s in the press all of the time, and I’ve been in the paper several times too.”
But Prater, who is set to square off on the main card against Erick Silva (13-1), wasn’t originally scheduled to be a part of the UFC’s return to Rio.
In September, Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1) announced via Twitter that he would be facing Silva at UFC 142, but after an injury forced Bahadurzada off of the card last month, Prater got a call that had eluded him for so long. He would finally be making his UFC debut.
“I was already training for a fight,” Prater said, “and my manager called me up, told me about the opportunity and I jumped at it. All Brazilians would love to fight at home and it’s a big honor to be a part of this card.”
Just like his journey to the UFC though, getting a win in the Octagon won’ t be easy for Prater as he squares off against a dangerous opponent like Silva.
In his last bout at UFC 134 it took Silva just 40 seconds to knock out his opponent Luis Ramos (19-7), but despite knowing how talented Silva is on his feet, Prater isn’t sold on the idea that he has to take the fight to the ground to win.
“You never know,” Prater said. “I’m training everything all of the time. I think that I do have a significant advantage on the ground, but it doesn’t affect my training camp. I just try to fight like I train, and I train for all situations.”
As for how the fight will play out, Prater isn’t sure, but he is preparing for a war.
“I think we’re going to touch gloves and then we’re going to stand and trade blows for minute and we’ll see what happens after that,” Prater said. “All I can say is that I’m training for a war, I’m going to leave it all on the line and I want to get fight of the night.”
In addition to getting the win, Prater hopes to make a good impression not just on the UFC, but also the fans.
“I really want to make myself known in the UFC as an exciting fighter, as a fighter that has a complete skill set and I just want to entertain the fans with this fight,” Prater said. “I’m very honored with this opportunity and I just want to make the most of it.”