Earlier today, UFC featherweight TJ Laramie announced on Instagram that he had been ruled out of his May 1 bout with Damon Jackson due to undisclosed reasons. With just over a month until the UFC Vegas 25, the promotion will be eager to fill the vacancy.
Regional bantamweight Louie Sanoudakis has revealed his interest in taking the short notice opportunity.
Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Sanoudakis (8-2) has been patient for quite some time in waiting for a call up to the big show, but now at the prime age of 31, he realizes it’s now or never.
Taking to The Scrap, Sanoudakis confirmed his intention to fight Jackson on just a month’s notice.
“I think Damon Jackson is a great fighter. [A] gritty guy [with a] never give up attitude,” he exclaimed. “He fought one of my teammates, Mirsad Bektic, and was probably on his way to losing a grueling decision. He had the tenacity to keep attacking a guillotine and ended up finally scoring it at the end for himself. So, obviously, I’d love to get that one back for the team.”
A natural bantamweight, Louie Sanoudakis is well aware that he would be forfeiting a size advantage against Jackson, albeit is more than happy to face the challenge head on.
“I think I match up well [with Jackson],” he said. “I have creative, smart striking. And I think my grappling in terms of MMA is on a complete other level. I don’t mean in terms of pure BJJ, but the wrestling/grappling exchanges, as I often come out ahead. Those exchanges will make the difference and allow me to shine in a fight against Damon.”
Training out of the world-famous Tristar gym in Montreal, Sanoudakis has been surrounded by nothing but talent throughout his career. Iron sharpens iron, and with a reputable team known for scoring wins, he knows they can help carry him to further success.
“Training with Firas [Zahabi] for the last 15 years has been an absolute blessing,” Sanoudakis shared. “I get coached by one of the winning-est coaches in world title fights. He’s always innovating and pushing us out of our comfort zones in order for us all to be able to evolve and compete at the absolute highest levels.
“Our team is so solid, from amateur to professional. I’m constantly getting pushed and tested, and forced to get better.”
In his most recent outing in November 2019, the Canadian dropped a unanimous decision to Stephen Loman in BRAVE CF. And while he realizes that the UFC scarcely signs athletes coming off a loss, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has allowed for rare exceptions.
“Right now [I’m] currently a free agent,” Louie Sanoudakis said. “But I love BRAVE and would fight for them in a heartbeat. My last fight was a loss so that puts me behind and doesn’t help my case. It was a five-rounder against a tough opponent with a high finishing rate… I pulled the trigger a but too late in that fight. I honestly think I let it get away from me.”
Although disappointment looms in relation to his last bout, the Canadian was able to learn a valuable lesson.
“The lesson I took from it was to up my activity and volume,” Sanoudakis said. “I’ve been working diligently on that the last year and a half, and it really shows in my training. I’m a whole different guy right now. Obviously, actions speak louder than words, but I would love the opportunity to prove it.
“I’m much more seasoned than a lot of [other] guys looking for short notice opportunities. I don’t just mean in terms of fights but in terms of guys I’ve trained with, how many corners I’ve been in, and how many training camps I’ve been apart of. I don’t think to moment would be shocking to me, or fluster me – I am a very cool, calm, and collected fighter.
“I’ve had COVID-19 and are unlikely to catch it again in the near future,” he continued. “So I wouldn’t fall through from that. I’ve never pulled out of a fight. I fight at 135 and walk around at 155, so making weight would be easy. But the ball is obviously in the UFC’s court.”