Danny Chavez looks to play the role of spoiler once again, as he battles fan favorite Jared Gordon on Feb. 20 at UFC Vegas 19.
The 33-year-old embraces the underdog role and proved that in his promotional debut last August after defeating T.J. Brown at UFC 252.
“I was the underdog, a lot of people didn’t pick me to win,” Chavez told The Scrap. “A lot of people thought T.J. was going to outwrestle me and expose me. I just felt really comfortable when I was fighting in there with him. In one of the interviews I saw him doing he said he was going to outbox me go back to boxing. And I think that was his biggest mistake. Because I’m a great boxer, I have great technical details. And I just felt like, stylistically It was a bad matchup for him.”
Chavez (11-3) picked up his fifth straight win with his unanimous decision victory over Brown. The MMA Masters product has finished three of his last four opponents during that span.
Gordon (16-4) had a successful return to the featherweight division last July when he beat Chris Fishgold by decision at UFC Fight Island 1. The 32-year-old has won two of his last three fights and will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since Oct. 2017.
With both fighters having camps in Florida, Chavez did mention he has some friends training with Gordon at Sanford MMA.
“Omar Morales, I’ve known him for a long time and he’s at Sanford MMA,” Chavez explained. “Sean Soriano, he’s going to corner against me. I’m good acquaintances with him and a couple of other guys there. It’s no big deal you know, it’s business. I mean, I represent my gym and I’m here to do my thing.”
Coming into the UFC at a later age, Chavez knows his window of opportunity to fight for a title is small. That’s why the MMA Masters product wants to make a statement against “Flash” and move up the featherweight division quickly.
“I want a highlight I don’t care what it is,” Chavez said. “I want to put my name out there already, I don’t have that much time. I’m 33 years old. Everybody knows that. I want to go out there knock him out in the first round, second, round, even in the third round. I want to win it and I want that 50k bonus.”
UFC Fight Night takes place on February 20th at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes battles Derrick Lewis in the main event.