In a way, UFC 227 will be a bantamweight showcase as the card hosts six bouts in the division. One of which being for the men’s title.
Among the 12 135-pound combatants is the Brazilian prospect, Ricardo Ramos. At 22-years old, he’s the youngest of the dozen 135ers competing on August 4th.
Already 11-1 in his young career, Ramos has been nothing but excitement as he’s won his first two UFC bouts impressively. His last in particular.
At UFC 217 in November, Ramos landed one of the knockouts of 2017 against Aiemann Zahabi thus setting the tone for the whole night as well as what to look out for in his career going forward.
“In New York, the spinning elbow was like an incredible performance of my career,” Ramos told BJPenn.com, “I think one of the best ever in my fight career. But it happened on the past, you know. My next fight is a new guy, different style, so I’m gonna try something new every time. If you watch my fights, every fight I am doing something different. So I’m always trying to get better in every area on MMA.
That’s what I’m gonna do in this next fight, I’m gonna try something new and get the applause again.”
Ramos’ next opponent will be South Korea’s submission ace, Kyung Ho Kang who will look to extend his three-fight winning streak.
With both men being proven finishers having a combined 23 finishes (18 submissions, five KO/TKOs) between the two, the fight will be sure to provide entertainment where ever it goes.
And generally, fighters may like to avoid their opponent’s strengths. But not Ramos as he stated he’ll happily test himself in the areas that Kang works best.
“I never choose an opponent, so they just tell me, ‘Oh, this guy. You have this fight’ So I accept the fight, for sure. But I think it’s a really good match. I like this style. He’s a ground fighter, so…he can strike, too. But he’s mostly, his fighting is on the ground.
But that’s how I always train for my fights. I train like everything, like ground, boxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, everything.
When I [fight focusing on] some details of my opponent like, oh, he’s a ground fighter, so I’m gonna train more takedown defense, for sure. But I like to put me on tests. Like, fight on the ground with him because he’s good on the ground. So I can be better than him on the ground, too, so I have to train. I like to try new things and try to be better where my opponent is best.”
Like Ramos himself, the UFC’s bantamweight division is loaded with amazing talent right now. Among those talented athletes also happens to be ‘The Sugar Show’ Sean O’Malley.
Fully focused on his task at hand, Ramos knows that a win over Kang is all that matters right now. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know exactly who he wants to showcase his skills against afterward to try and take the next step into contention.
“[After] my last fight I [asked] for someone that’s a top fighter, but I know that it’s too early to get a fight with top guys. But I’m ready for a fight with those guys. Not because I’m not the same level. I know I have to build my career on UFC, and I thought about fight with someone in the top guys. But now I’m thinking about making smart movement.
So I wanna fight with Sean O’ Malley, that’s my focus. My focus right now is my next fight, but yeah. 100 percent focusing on the next fight. But after that, I prepare fight with Sean O’ Malley, and this will happen, for sure. I believe on that, on this fight. I can beat him for sure. I know he’s not a top 10 guy, but I think after I fight him, I’m ready to fight top guys and they gonna give me a better fight for sure, and close to the belt.
Everybody wanna watch this match for sure.
When I saw this guy I said, ‘I like his style,’ He’s a showman, and I think his best fight was impressive. I don’t know about his opponent, but I know about me. If I have the same situation in a fight with him I know I can beat him for sure. But I can say that, but I have to do that. So I just need the opportunity to do that, you know? So if I fight him I know I will beat him for sure.”
O’Malley currently doesn’t have a fight scheduled as he’s been recovering from the foot injury he suffered in his last outing with Andre Soukhamthath at UFC 222.
Regardless, Ramos is on a mission at UFC 227. Along with his training partner in the former champion of their division, Cody Garbrandt, Ramos visualizes nothing but another finish once he and Kang meet in the center of the Octagon.
“I’m gonna knock him out in the first round.
You have to think positive, and always see it on your mind and you have more chance to be real. So that’s what I been working right now. Every time I think about the [fight], knockout or submission in the first round. Any way…in the first round.
But I’m ready for the second, third, fourth, and fifth round. I can fight 10 rounds if he wants, you know? I’m ready to fight all night long.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/24/2018