Lando Vannata never had any doubts that he wouldn’t be back with the UFC. The 26-year-old came to terms with the UFC on a new four-fight deal and is set to face Marcos Rosa Mariano at UFC 234 on Feb. 9
“I figured [the UFC] would want to re-sign me. I’m a pretty exciting fighter, I put on a show every time I step into the cage,” Vannata told MMA News. “I wasn’t too surprised they came back looking to re-sign me to a new deal. I was keeping my options open but I figured they would want to [re-sign me] and if the figures were right then yeah I would go back. The UFC had exclusive rights [to negotiating].”
Lando Vannata (9-3-2) re-upped with the Las Vegas promotion despite going 1-2-2 in his last five fights. He’s coming off a draw against Matt Frevola at UFC 230 in November. When he steps into the cage next month, Vannata will be looking for his first win since Dec. 2016.
Mariano (6-4) makes his promotional debut on Feb. 9 opposite Vannata. The Brazilian has won four of his last five fights, including first-round TKO victory over Alessandro Taiete de Matos at AFT 15 in October. Vannata believes he’ll mentally break his opponent and doesn’t think he has the experience to compete with him.
“I think I’m a tough fight for anybody. I’m excited to welcome him to the UFC. I think you guys are in for another hell of a show. I’m looking to leave that in the cage. I plan on mentally breaking this guy, I want to break. I want to snatch his soul. It’s one of my favorite things to do in fighting. Wrestling, fighting, it’s just making somebody quit. That’s what I want to do in this fight.”
UFC 234 takes place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The main event sees middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defending his title against Kelvin Gastelum.
How do you think Lando Vannata will perform in the first fight of his new UFC deal?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/21/2019.