Sitting at 0-2 in the UFC, featherweight Austin Arnett knows his back is against the wall.
This Saturday night, Arnett takes on Peruvian Humberto Bandenay on the Fox Sports 1 preliminary portion of UFC Fight Night 140 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The 27-year-old Contender Series veteran is riding a three-fight losing streak entering the bout. In his most recent outing, the Washingtonian was defeated by surging Canadian Hakeem Dawodu.
For the Dawodu fight, Arnett’s camp was almost 12 weeks long. This time around however, his timeline is on the opposite end of the spectrum—a mere four weeks.
The Sikjitsu product is a fan of both the timing of the fight and brevity of his camp.
“I wanted to get another fight by the end of the year, and it was looking like it wasn’t going to happen,” Arnett said in an interview with FloCombat. “So I thought it was going to be late January which kind of would have sucked having to go through Christmas and New Years in camp.
“Four weeks, I think, is perfect. I don’t have to go through that long, long grind where you’re banged up and hurt. You’re 100 percent healthy. I think this is going to be a much better performance where I’m a lot more reactive and aggressive. It’s going to make for a better fight for me.”
For Arnett, the only downside of the bout is the grueling travel schedule in the midst of his weight cut preparations.
“The travel is a bitch,” Arnett said. “It’s going to be a total of [a] 24-hour travel day. We leave at 5 a.m. Sunday morning and we get over there at 9 a.m. Monday morning because they’re four hours ahead, so it works out to 24 hours travel.”
Aware of the challenge he faces, Arnett has brought on renowned nutrition specialists George Lockhart and Dan Leith to assist.
“They’re working hard and they’re going to be over there for the fight, taking care of the whole fight week and cutting—everything,” Arnett said. “So that takes a whole stress relief off of the travel. That’s the biggest thing with these long travel things is the weight.
“Being in a foreign country, trying to buy food and all of that stuff would be very difficult. This will make it a lot easier for me."
Giving a brutally honest assessment, Arnett knows if his hand isn’t raised at the end of the night, he’ll be cut from the promotion.
“I think it’s 100 percent do-or-die,” Arnett said. “I’ve got to win to stay in. I know that and I’m comfortable with handling that situation and doing what I do to keep my job. I kind of like having that pressure on me and my back against the wall. That’s when I think I perform the best.
“I’m not stupid, man. I know how this game works. I’m a huge fan of the sport and follow it closely. I know how these things go. I know I have to go out there and get a win, but not only get a win, put on an exciting performance with it as well.”