Whether it’s Ion Cutelaba or Jon Jones, Philipe Lins ‘ready for all challenges in the UFC’
One-time PFL heavyweight champion Philipe Lins is undefeated in the UFC since moving down to 205 pounds, and believes the secret is treating every opponent as the world’s best.
Fresh off a victory over Maxim Grishin in June, Lins faces Ion Cutelaba on Saturday at UFC Vegas 80. His win over Grishin was his third in a row after choking out Ovince Saint Preux in 49 seconds and winning a decision over Marcin Prachnio. Now he looks to extend his win streak to four, which would be his longest since his PFL championship run in 2018.
“I’m super ready and confident,” Lins said on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast. “I have the utmost respect for every athlete I face, doesn’t matter if it’s Cutelaba, Jon Jones, or [Magomed] Ankalaev. I’m ready for all challenges in the UFC. Let’s go for the fourth straight win in the UFC.”
Cutelaba enters the cage following a first-round stoppage of Tanner Boser, which helped him get back on track after going 2-6-1 over his previous nine, a run which saw him lose to ranked talents such as Glover Teixeira, Johnny Walker, Ryan Spann, and Ankalaev twice.
On the flip side, Lins is on a roll and feel less pressure after overcoming back-to-back losses to Andrei Arlovski and Boser in his early UFC career as a heavyweight.
“I really came to the UFC with a lot of pressure and couldn’t let go of all my talent in there,” he said. “It was a good decision to go down to 205 pounds, and the results prove that. Three wins in a row and living healthier, training better. I’m back home, feeling super well prepared. But I look at every fight individually. Those wins are in the past now, let’s go for the next now. After this win, I’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Damn, I won four in a row in the UFC.’”
“Monstro” turned 38 in August and feels “very healthy” to fight on for many more years. In order to make a run for the title, however, he admits that time isn’t on his side.
“I have to speed things up, absolutely,” Lins said. “I believe that a good win over Cutebala will mean I deserve to be ranked, and then I can fight a top-15 [opponent], or even a top-10 to earn my space. I need to be ready for a challenge in case some top-ranked fighter gets injured and I can jump in. The way I see it, I really need to take bigger steps. I can’t move slowly.”
“I haven’t had many MMA fights , but I’m very experienced,” he continued. “I’ve been training for a long time. I’ve done jiu-jitsu since I was 17. My [MMA] record doesn’t have many fights, but the good side is that I haven’t had many wars, and my body is healthy. I had knee surgery once, but I understand how my body works now. I’m 38 and I don’t want to fight until I’m 45 or whatever, but I have faith that the future is bright for me.”