Lando Vannata Working Up To Tony Ferguson Rematch

Landon Vannata

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

It was a year full of breakout stars in the UFC, but few can say they had two fights as memorable as Lando Vannata in 2016.

After putting on a barnburner with Tony Ferguson when called up at late notice at UFC Fight Night 91: McDonald vs. Lineker in July, Vannata went on to record his first UFC win in Toronto, Canada, in December, when he hit John Makdessi with one of the most stunning spinning heel kick knockouts ever seen inside the Octagon at UFC 206.

Staying humble


Vannata made an impact like no other man last year, but despite creating some serious ripples already, he's staying humble to core.

"Getting my first win meant a lot to me, but one thing it meant was that a silenced all the doubters," Vannata said. "After coming in against Tony [Ferguson] on two weeks' notice and putting it to him like I did, one of the biggest things for me was going out there and showing the world what I'm really capable of, and yeah, it turned out to be a really good night."

Hitting 'that' kick


Despite his knockout at UFC 206 coming so late in the year, Vannata has been the winner of several of the "knockout of the year" awards being dished out online.

Receiving such recognition is something he's enjoyed, but he's not letting all the love go to his head.

"It's been cool, but it is what it is," Vannata said. "It's a little whatever to me, but it was really cool coming back from vacation and walking in to the gym and seeing there was a package with a trophy in it saying '2016 Knockout of the Year' from one of the websites.

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/BN45BZKhv7z/" hide_caption="0"]

"I don't know, it's pretty cool to get that man, but yeah, I don't know--it was a cool knockout," he said, almost sounding a little embarrassed by the accolade.

"It was true," he said in regards to it being something he'd been practicing before. "In that Tony Ferguson fight I threw that same kick and a spinning backfist. In that last camp I was practicing that kick a lot and throwing little side kicks along the way to set up that spinning heel kick. I was throwing a whole bunch of different techniques form that series right there. I have a whole series of my own from that set up.

"It was just one of the techniques I'd been drilling a lot at the time. I was drilling it through the camp, the day before the fight, the day of the fight, in the locker room warming up, just throwing it over and over again. And yeah, it just found a home on fight night."


Excitement to the end


Having put on two spectacle performances so far, Vannata promised that this was only beginning and that we should all expect a lot more exciting fights from him to come in the future.

"The last four fights I've had have all been pretty damn exciting fights," Vannata said. "I've had some snorers in the past, but as of recent years I think my style is exciting. I think it's one of a kind, and I think it's very offense orientated. I think I'm going to be a fan favorite."

Vannata isn't a man to wait around, and shortly after picking up the win in Toronto he already had his next fight booked for UFC 209 on March 4. He will face David Teymur, a veteran of the TUF 21 series who has since gone on to pick up two wins inside the UFC.

"I told them I wanted to fight on March 4, UFC 209, and I gave them a list of opponents," Vannata revealed. "They said they would see what they could do, and I got the fight. It's a secret who else was on the list, but Teymur was on it.

"I think I'll definitely beat this guy. He's a good striker, but I think he's overconfident in his striking. He has a good background in Muay Thai and K-1, but it's basically boxing. And while that may work against other boxers, we are playing a different game, and it's not going to work against me."

A man with a plan


The man from Jackson Wink MMA Academy isn't getting ahead of himself, but he's got a clear idea in his mind of the way he wants to work up the UFC rankings.

"I'm going to sleep David Teymur and then try and get a top 20 guy and continue to progress from there," he said. "I want to try and go top 20, top 10, top five with good highlight [reel] finishes in each one. That's what I'm looking for this year."

Along that journey, one fight that obviously appeals to Vannata is a rematch with the only man to defeat him in his professional career -- Ferguson. While not holding a grudge, Vannata believes that they will meet again and that there will be even more fireworks than in their first crazy fight.

"F**k yeah," Vannata said without thinking when asked if he wanted the rematch. "That's one that, err, I try not to hold onto anything or keep that brick in my pocket, but yeah, it's one I want to get back in the future.

"I'm going to keep climbing up the rankings, and in time, me and Tony are going to meet again and it's going to make for a good story--I can't f**king wait for the day."

How to Watch: 2021 NFC MMA 131

Combat-Logo-Overlay

Here's how to watch the 2021 NFC MMA 131 on FloCombat.

Can Tackett Avenge His Last Submission Loss vs John Combs?

5ffe318804ebb.jpg

John Combs is one of very few black marks on William Tackett’s professional grappling record. Combs is the only person who has submitted Tackett in regulation since at least 2019.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Top Turtle MMA Podcast (Episode 254)

Top Turtle MMA Podcast

The year 2020 is coming to an end, which is likely for the best, but Shockwave and Gumby wanted to remind you of the very best that took place in 2020. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Top Turtle MMA Podcast (Episode 253)

Top Turtle MMA Podcast

So the UFC action may have taken a temporary hiatus, but Gumby and Shockwave have not. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Top Turtle MMA Podcast (Episode 252)

Top Turtle MMA Podcast

One last UFC event this year and the guys from Top Turtle have all you’ll need to get you hyped. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Recovered From COVID, Renato Moicano Looks To Top 10

Renato Moicano

Renato Moicano had a stellar March this year. After the birth of his first son, whom he named Isaac, Moicano took top Brazil and stopped Damir Hadzovic in his lightweight debut. The bout lasted under a minute, but it instantly put Moicano on the map of his new division. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Top Turtle MMA Podcast (Episode 251)

Top Turtle MMA Podcast

Another week of cancelled fights and crazy switches, but you can count on your favorite podcast to be just the way you left it. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

NFC 128 Ready For Action

NFC

NFC is primed and ready for its' final show in Atlanta in 2020 as NFC 128 takes place Friday, December 11 at 7pm and LIVE on FloCombat!

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Top Turtle MMA Podcast (Episode 250)

Top Turtle MMA Podcast

The headliners might keep changing, but don’t go looking for us to. We’re back at it again this week with our 250th episode.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Jordan Leavitt: From Fan To Opponent

Jordan Leavitt

Jordan Leavitt stepped into the cage for the first time as a professional in October of 2017. At just 22 years old, he had a handful of amateur fights at the time, but picked up his first win that night in a company called Gladiator Challenge in El Cajon, California. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In