The global pandemic brought the entire sporting world to a half, but after a frustrating wait on hold, Brendon Raftery is finally able to get connected. The San Diego, California-based competitor will make his promotional debut and take a run at the inaugural North American Super Featherweight title at Lion Fight 69.
He'll square-off against Boston-area fan favorite Michael Triana at the House of Blues on Friday, August 27th with the event airing live worldwide exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Raftery took a few minutes to talk to LionFight.com about what fans can expect from him and the opportunity he has waiting for him.
Q: You are new to LF and viewers on Fight Pass – can you talk about your style and what your best attributes are? A: I would describe my style as flashy, fun, and ferocious. I pride myself on always trying to entertain the fans who paid to come watch us perform, while displaying my art to the best of my abilities. My best attributes, in my opinion, are my speed, fight IQ, and distance control during the fight.
Q: Do you like the opportunity of going into "hostile territory" and fighting Triana basically in his home town?
A: Yes, I love the idea of entering into my opponent's hometown, where I will be rooted against, and looked at as the enemy. To me this takes any pressure off of my shoulders, and puts it all on Mike. He will have more people there cheering for him than I will. He is the one who will be selling all the tickets to our fight. He is the one who is expected to win in his hometown. I look forward to ruining those plans, but hopefully winning over some of his fans when I win the fight and the belt.
Q: What is your preparation like for a fight, not just in training camp but what about the last 48 hours or so before the fight?
A: My preparation for a fight consists of hard work, six days of the week, with one day to rest and heal my body. It is a blend of technical training in the gym, grueling strength and conditioning workouts, runs, sprints, and sparring. In the last 48 hours leading up to the fight, the preparation becomes entirely mental. The physical work has been put in at that point, and it is all about getting the mind ready for war. This includes visualization, meditation, and surrounding myself with the right people to help keep my mind on track and limit distractions. This is honestly one of my favorite parts of the fight process. I love when everything starts to come together. The body gets to rest up a little bit, so you begin to feel great physically, while the mind sharpens and starts to dial in on the task at hand, blocking out anything that doesn't have to do with achieving victory, and you begin to feel extremely ready for what you're about to walk into.
Q: What would being a LF North American champion mean to you?
A: Being a champion for Lion Fight would really mean a lot to me. When I was younger, I used to watch Lion Fight on AXS TV, and this was really my first exposure to the discipline of Muay Thai. No one else was really showing Muay Thai fights on TV, so I would tune in every time they'd be showing fights, and I absolutely fell in love with it. Muay Thai stood out to me as such a beautiful, violent art, that required such skill, and tenacity, it really intrigued me and ultimately led to me wanting to learn. Lion Fight has hosted some of the greatest fighters of all time, and to be a champion for a promotion like that, would be such a great honor for me, and really the biggest accomplishment thus far in my combat sports career. I look forward to making this dream a reality come fight night.