In his fourth UFC appearance, Yancy Medeiros (9-2, 1 NC) finds himself featured on the main card of a pay-per-view for a second time. When Medeiros takes on promotional newcomer Damon Jackson (9-0) at UFC 177, he’ll be on the hunt for a decisive victory.
The lightweight shifted into the spotlight after a heavyweight contest between Richard Odoms and Ruslan Magomedov was scratched. Initially, Medeiros was tapped to battle Justin Edwards, who withdrew just 10 days before the fight with an injury.
In an interview with MMA Fight Corner, the Hawaiian native said he’s grateful the UFC found him an opponent. With an 0-2, 1 NC record in the UFC, Medeiros must emerge victorious to prove he’s a relevant force in one of the promotion’s deepest divisions.
Medeiros didn’t have much time to change up anything in his training camp for his new opponent. Ahead of this collision, Medeiros trained with UFC 177 co-main event star Danny Castillo and Nick and Nate Diaz in Stockton, CA. Coming off of a submission loss to Jim Miller, Medeiros focused on improving his ground game. A knockout artist who has stopped 6 adversaries with strikes, Medeiros thinks he’ll be able to make necessary adjustments as the fight progresses.
“I think I more of an instinctual fighter, I feel like my instincts are my strong points in fighting. Just because they changed my opponent doesn’t mean that I’m going to be disturbed or disrupted. I’m just happy I’ve got an opponent. I’ve just got to put food on my table and pay bills,” Medeiros said.
Jackson, 26, will make his UFC debut in Sacramento, CA. Normally, he competes at featherweight, but will step in at lightweight due to the short notice. He comes into the promotion undeated, having stopped every man in his path thus far. He owns 7 submission wins and became Legacy FC’s featherweight champion when he polished off Leonard Garcia with an arm-triangle choke in July.
A wrestling standout from Missouri, Jackson could cause problems for Medeiros as long as he doesn’t suffer from a case of stage fright. Training out of Octagon MMA, Jackson also teaches wrestling and Muay Thai. “The Leech” loves to take it the ground and will look to suffocate Medeiros and likely ground and pound him on the mat before attempting to submit him.
The only time we’ve seen Medeiros taken down in the UFC was against Rustam Khabilov. He was slammed to the canvas and dislocated his thumb which ended the fight. Though the 27-year-old knocked out Yves Edwards in his next effort, the win was overturned to a No Contest when he tested positive for marijuana metabolites. All Medeiros has his mind set on is wiping the slate clean and making an impression.
“I’m from Hawaii and I like to consider myself a representative, and show the world and everyone and all the fans that Hawaii people can make it and pursue their dreams,” said Medeiros. “To me it’s not just a fight, it’s about representing where I’m from.”
It’ll be a classic striker vs. grappler war when Medeiros meets Jackson at UFC 177 on Aug. 30. The Sleep Train Arena hosts the fight card which features bantamweight title holder T.J. Dillashaw taking on Renan Barao in a championship rematch in the main event.