SINGAPORE-BASED UFC BANTAMWEIGHT TAKES ON FELLOW BRAZILIAN IURI ALCANTARA AT UFC 190.
Leandro Issa will be looking to make it three straight wins when he steps into the Octagon this weekend for UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro.
The 31 year old has made a name for himself with The Evolve Fight Team, having faced opponents in China, Korea and Japan.
Come next week he will square off against number 12-ranked Iuri Alcantara, a fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, who is coming off a loss to Frankie Saenz.
Issa took some time out of his training schedule to speak to ROUGH about sacrifice (he can’t eat pizza when cutting weight) and how he sees his next fight playing out.
How do you rate this fight, it’s a big fight and could put you into the top 10 UFC bantamweight ranks.
This is a really huge fight for me and a truly amazing opportunity to rise up the UFC bantamweight rankings. Alcantara is currently ranked #12 in the division and I’m looking to give my best inside the Octagon and have my hands raised.
You are on a huge card with Ronda Rousey and Bethe Correia, it must be exciting?
For sure, it’s a truly exciting feeling to be on the same card as Ronda Rosey, Bethe Correira and so many other good fighters such as the Minotauros and Shogun.
The Evolve Fight Team has been on a winning streak, how much does the team in Singapore inspire you?
The Evolve Fight Team is a truly great team to be a part of, we’re more of a family than anything else. Asia’s fighting family. Everyone on the team brings something unique to each training session and we’re able to always learn something new every single day. We push each other really hard each time because we know that as a team, we constantly have each others backs.
You will be fighting against fellow Brazilian Iuri Alcantara, how do you think the crowd will respond?
It will be interesting to see who the fans of Brazil will be cheering for that night. Regardless of that, I’m always excited to be able to put on a show for the Brazilian fans. They are truly amazing.
How has the weight cut been? Any foods you are missing out on at the moment?
The weight cut has been going very well, I’m almost there. Of course I miss a lot of awesome food, I love pizza, Brazilian BBQ, and I’ll definitely have them immediately after my fight.
What does it mean to be back in Brazil fighting for this opportunity?
I love fighting in Brazil. MMA is huge in Brazil and the Brazilian fans are insane.