Billy Quarantillo expects to finish Gabriel Benitez at UFC Vegas 31 after getting much-needed eye surgery

Billy Quarantillo
Image Credit: UFC

Billy Quarantillo expects to be a much better fighter on Saturday night at UFC Vegas 31 when he faces Gabriel Benitez.

Quarantillo is coming off his first career UFC loss back at UFC 256 against Gavin Tucker. Following the loss, the rising featherweight contender got married and got eye surgery which he says was much-needed.

“Losing is why I took some time off. I also got Lasik eye surgery, I got my eyes fixed and that has been a nightmare my entire career,” Quarantillo said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “Whether I’m fighting with no contacts, it’s happened several times that I get one contact knocked out and I can barely see. Being a fighter, it’s probably the worst sense to lose.”

After taking seven months off, Quarantillo was booked to face Herbert Burns on July 17. Yet, about a month out, the Brazilian was forced out of the scrap and was replaced by Benitez. Quarantillo says he had no problem accepting the fight and taking on Benitez who he knows is a dangerous challenge.

“It is what it is, as Max Holloway has said. I’m happy they gave me a long time as I see some guys that can’t catch a break like my boy Matt Frevola,” Quarantillo said. “He’s had five opponents change five-fight weeks in a row. I was excited to fight Herbert Burns, he’s a big name and I’ve seen him fight a few times, but it is what it is. We are in the UFC, whoever they want me to fight, especially a month out, it wasn’t a big deal so it’s time to move on to Gabriel Benitez.”

Although Billy Quarantillo only had about a month’s notice to prepare for Benitez he is confident in his skill set. He knows he has the cardio and pressure to break a lot of opponents. Then, his ability to mix in his wrestling should also pay dividends in the fight.

Ultimately, Quarantillo is confident he will not only get back into the win column but will do so by stoppage.

“He’s very hard to put away but so am I. I’m making sure my cardio and conditioning are on point,” Quarantillo said. “It’s not a fight that I can go out there and break his conditioning as I have done to a lot of opponents. I just have to be the better fighter. He’s got good chokes. So I have to avoid that. But, my high fight IQ and my perseverance will be what it takes and get the finish.”

If Quarantillo does get his hand raised, the plan is to fight one more time this year. He also wants to be in front of fans on a pay-per-view. However, he isn’t worried about where a win puts him in the division or getting a ranked opponent.

“I think I got a little caught up by thinking that I’ll beat Gavin Tucker and get a top-15 guy. For me, I just want to forget about the rankings for right now, I’m just going to fight like my life depends on it. Just beat this guy and see where the chip fall,” Quarantillo concluded.

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