UFC lightweight prospect Claudio Puelles believes he made a firm statement in his latest outing, and one he believes should lead to “big things.”
Puelles entered the Octagon for the first time in 2022 last weekend, providing one of the highlights of what was an entertaining UFC Vegas 52 card. In the co-main event, he shared the cage with veteran Clay Guida.
Despite Guida’s 45-fight advantage in experience, it was Puelles who looked masterful on the night, transitioning between submissions before locking in an impressive kneebar for the finish three minutes into the opening round.
With the victory, which marked his third kneebar tapout in the UFC, Puelles extended his win streak to five.
Now, with a second bonus-winning performance and the established name of a former Strikeforce champion on his résumé, the Peruvian believes he’s proven his credentials inside the Octagon.
Puelles Targets PPV Booking Next Time Out
During an interview with MMA News’ own Curtis Calhoun days out from his memorable triumph in Las Vegas, Puelles discussed what his 12th professional victory means for his career.
After suggesting that many doubted his ability to hang with Guida pre-fight, including his own compatriots, Puelles asserted that they now know he’s ready for “big things” in the sport.
“A lot of people, especially from Peru, they didn’t believe I could take on Clay,” said Puelles. “I proved to them that I can and that I’m ready for big things.”
What might said “big things” involve? How about a slot on pay-per-view next time out? Having missed the presence of his family during a trio of bouts inside the small-capacity Apex facility, Puelles is raring to make an arena walk.
“(My family) are very excited. I’m a little sad that they haven’t been able to watch my last three fights in person because they’ve been at the Apex,” noted Puelles. “But maybe I get a pay-per-view spot next time and they’re able to come out. So, I’m just waiting for that. Maybe I get a chance.”
Despite not having an opponent in mind, Puelles does have a return month on his radar. After putting his bonus money to good use and returning to his home country of Peru for the first time in over a year this summer, “El Niño” is hoping to continue his march up the UFC ladder in September.
“About opponent, I’ve gotta talk first with my manager. I cannot decide. But date, I was thinking—I don’t wanna rush it. I fought like four months ago. I fought in December and now I fought in April, so that was kinda fast. So, now maybe September,” Puelles told MMA News.
“I got the bonus, so that’s a little extra money. I gotta do a couple moves with that money now. Important things that I gotta do outside of fighting. So yeah, I think I’ll be ready to come back in September.”
Check out our full interview with UFC lightweight Claudio Puelles below:
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