Omar Morales will be close proximity to UFC gold next month.

The rising UFC featherweight has been booked to fight Jonathan Pearce on Sept. 25 at UFC 266 in Las Vegas, a pay-per-view event headlined by Alexander Volkanovski’s second title defense of his UFC 145-pound title against Brian Ortega.

It’s no secret Venezuela’s Morales (11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) wants to get his hands on the belt in the future and he finds it good to be on the same card on which the belt of his division will be disputed.

“Of course I love that because I’m living part of that,” Morales told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I’m seeing those fighters, seeing where I want to be, seeing the type of fighters I want to fight.

“For me, it’s a great experience because I start studying them and seeing how they carry themselves. And once you experience all that in all levels of the UFC, seeing them in fight week and in the octagon, it takes away some anxiety and you’re just left with the desire of wanting to be there.”

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Morales began his UFC career at 155 pounds, notching dominant wins over Dong Hyun Ma and Gabriel Benitez. He then moved down to featherweight in late 2020, but was unsuccessful, suffering his first professional defeat to Giga Chikadze in a unanimous decision.

Since then, the 35-year-old bounced back with a win over Shane Young back in March. Despite the success, Morales thinks he hasn’t been able to fully show his potential, but he’s confident that will change at UFC 266.

“Since I joined the UFC, I felt really good in my debut against Dong Hyun Ma and since then I wasn’t able to feel my normal explosiveness,” Morales said. “But I figured out what was happening to me and I’ve taken care of all those issues, and for this fight I’m going to come out explosive like you’ve seen me in my previous fights.

“It’s something that I don’t talk about, but it was health issues that I didn’t know were affecting me. But right now, I’m healthy and I feel good. Now I just have to work to keep going up the rankings, and of course a title in the future or a rematch that doesn’t let me sleep.”


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