LAS VEGAS — The UFC has run non-stop during the pandemic, and it will cap a hectic 2020 with the final pay-per-view of the year this weekend in Las Vegas. UFC 256 gets underway Saturday night at the UFC Apex Center.
Tampa's Billy Quarantillo is set to face fellow featherweight (145 lbs.) Gavin Tucker during a preliminary fight. Fighting on the prelims of pay-per-view is great exposure for fighters trying to reach the main card, and Quarantillo says he's ready for the brightest lights of his career.
"I was on the main card for the last two fight nights- which were great. But they weren’t the highest amount of exposure," Quarantillo said via video chat. "Now I think I’ve kind of worked my way up. Now we’re fighting on the prelims of a pay-per-view, which is a big deal."
Some fighters only compete once or twice a year. This weekend will be Quarantillo's third fight since May 30, but he says the heavy workload is worth it.
"So how I looked at it is every time I win a fight, why not get back in there? I gotta climb up the rankings," the 32-year-old said. "It’s been a big deal to do this. This was the plan the whole time, and I’ve been able to execute it. I’m very blessed and fortunate to be in this position."
Quarantillo is 15-2 overall, with a 3-0 record in the UFC. Tucker is 12-1, 3-1.
"It’s kind of a step up in terms of competition," Quarantillo said. "I think that’s when I’m at my best, when I get higher level of competition. This training camp, I was really focused on- every session, I made it the best session possible, and really focused on a high-level opponent like Gavin."
Quarantillo puts his eight-fight win streak on the line tomorrow night when UFC 256 begins at 8 P.M. on ESPN 2.