Local UFC Fighters Hope to Steal Spotlight from the McGregor Show
The world will be focusing on the Conor McGregor show this weekend, but local mixed martial arts fans have plenty to root for as the UFC is putting on back-to-back shows featuring Boston-area fighters.
Hours before the interim Irish champion steps inside the Octagon to face Jose Aldo at UFC 194, Quincy native Joe Proctor will kick off the card as he takes on Magomed Mustafaev in the night’s first fight. Proctor says he plans on grabbing some of the spotlight away from McGregor on Saturday night.
“I’m always trying to steal the spotlight,” Proctor said. “I always go out there, put my ass on the line, and try and get those big bonuses.”
Speaking of “big bonuses,” Proctor’s teammate and coach Joe Lauzon will also be fighting this weekend. The fellow lightweight fighter, who owns the record for the most post-fight bonuses in UFC history, will look to add another bonus check to his collection when he faces Evan Dunham on Friday night.
The veteran may not care as much as Proctor about taking headlines away from McGregor, but he’ll likely get people talking anyways since his bouts usually end in an exciting fashion with plenty of bloodshed.
“I think the Google search with my name and you see me covered in blood, I think that helps a lot,” Lauzon said. “We try to keep the blood inside my body. His blood we can deal with. I’m okay with cutting him a little bit, but I’m trying to keep my blood inside where it belongs.”
Both Boston-area fighters have a tough road ahead of them before they can sit back and enjoy Saturday night’s big main event.
For Lauzon, the always dangerous Dunham is riding a two-fight win streak and is one of the few lightweights that the Massachusetts-born fighter hasn’t faced during his nine year career in the UFC. Meanwhile, Proctor has a huge test in Mustafaev, a Russian prospect who hails from the same gym as current champ Holly Holm and former title holder Jon Jones.
Even though they know it’s not going to be an easy weekend, both men are excited to put on a show and make their hometown fans proud.
“You know how Boston people are, we go in there and we’re going to give it everything we have,” Proctor said. “If you’ve ever seen a Boston guy fight, then you know it’s going to be exciting.”