By Dean Parr
On Friday, it was announced that MMA Academy Liverpool flyweight Pietro Menga (5-0) will face his toughest test to date as a professional at UCC 11, when he’ll take on Shamsul Haque (4-6) with the host-promotion’s title in that weight class on the line. The unbeaten Salford-man sees this as a good challenge, and one that presents some interesting problems.
“It’s a great fight on paper,” opined Menga. “He’s very experienced and has impressive grappling credentials, but so do I.
“MMA is so diverse you have to keep an open mind; the fight could go anywhere. Rankings and stats are absolutely useless once you’re in the octagon. Even the number one guy can turn up and have bad day. All that matters is that I’m bringing my game on the 27th.”
Pietro sees every contest as an opportunity to gain vital experience and improve, and this one is no different. He noted,
“I see every fight as a step forward; I learn new things after every fight. Even in winning, there are lots of things I pick up on that I could do better next time. I think there’s definitely a lot more to come from me.
“My last opponent Richie Edgeworth was coming off two first round stoppages, so I knew it had the potential to be a fast paced first round. I was happy to get the ‘W.’ As for Haque, he is well respected in the division and presents just as many problems to solve as anyone else.”
Nothing will be changed up in the 125-pounder’s camp ahead of this tilt, and he just wants to get as good as possible in the quickest fashion he can.
“I won’t be doing anything differently,” admitted Menga. “Training to learn and improve is my first priority. Training for my opponent is something I can do a lot better if I’m improving faster in the gym. I believe in my own game; I’m not thinking too much about my opponent playing his.”
Delighted to be back on an Ultimate Cage Championships event, Pietro is not getting starstruck by the idea of winning another belt, and is keeping his feet firmly on the floor. He said,
“I love fighting on the UCC shows. The promoters and staff make sure all the fighters are looked after and comfortable. I think that’s why they always produce successful shows.
“The belt isn’t really something I think about. It’s great to promote a good fight and there’s something on the line which is exciting for all the spectators, but it’s no different from any other fight. It’s a nice reward for all the hard work fighters put in at the gym though, of course, but believing in your own hype gets you knocked out eventually.”
To conclude the interview, Menga had a few words to add.
“I’d like to thank my sponsors IPC Wrexham, David Mather Supplies, Universal Security Guards, L3 MMA Wear & Darcey Designz.
“Tickets are available through me directly, on Twitter @PitbullMenga or at The MMA Academy on 07981980711.”
More information on UCC 11 can be found on the promotion’s official site.