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Brendan Loughnane: Lance Palmer not necessarily the toughest possible PFL fight for me

Brendan Loughnane has been eager to get his hands on Lance Palmer for a while and likes his chances against him.

When Daniel Pineda was forced out of the 2019 PFL featherweight finals due to testing positive for a banned substance, Loughnane campaigned to jump in as a replacement, but the promotion ultimately went with Alex Gilpin. Palmer ended up defeating Gilpin via unanimous decision, winning the featherweight tournament for the second straight year.

With the upcoming 2021 PFL season looming, Loughnane may just get his chance to square off with Palmer. However, on a roster full of accomplished grapplers such as Bubba Jenkins and undefeated fighters like Movlid Khaybulaev and Jason Soares, Loughnane (19-3 MMA, 2-0 PFL) doesn’t necessarily see Palmer as his toughest outing.

He knows he has his work cut out for him regardless.

“Let’s not forget, I was trying to get the Palmer fight last year or the year before for the world title,” Loughnane told MMA Junkie Radio. “Homeboy popped for steroids and they needed a featherweight to jump in there. I was campaigning hard on the phone day and night trying to get the world title fight and it was very close to going my way, but they ended up going with Gilpin for contractual situations. But the thing is, I’m out there to fight the best guys in the world now.

“I think me and Lance match up well. I think he’s a phenomenal wrestler, but he hasn’t fought anyone who can move as much as me, that’s as hungry as me. So I think this year, every single one of them – I don’t think Lance is the toughest fight in there right now after looking around at that roster, but we’ll see. They all equally pose as much threat as the other to be honest.”

Palmer has never lost since joining the PFL roster in 2017 and no one has had an answer to the NCAA Division-I All-American wrestler. But Loughnane is confident that poses threats Palmer hasn’t faced before and thinks his grappling is heavily underrated.

“Lance Palmer is 10-0. He’s undefeated in PFL,” Loughnane said. “He knows how to win a fight. But I really do think my style matches up well with his. I move a lot, I can wrestle – these guys don’t know how well I can wrestle. You call up Phil Davis, Darrion Caldwell, any of these wrestlers at Alliance and say, ‘What’s Brendan’s wrestling like?’ and they’ll tell you. This tournament is just littered with wrestlers that just want to hold you down, and I am so prepared for that. I’ve been prepared for that for years.

“I lived with Iranians for six years, and I was just wrestling them every day. And if you look back at my MMA career, who’s really took me down? I know this is a whole different level of wrestler, but it’s one thing getting you down – they’ve got to keep you down, and I’m like a worm on the ground. I’m looking forward to fighting all these wrestlers and prove how good I can wrestle.”

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