Austin Lingo Ready To Fulfill Childhood Dream In UFC (Exclusive)
For Austin Lingo, the time is now, as the unbeaten fighter fufill his life-long dream by signing to make his UFC debut next month at UFC 247.
For Austin Lingo, the dream of making that walk to the Octagon dates back 13 years.
Lingo, who most recently improved to 7-0 with a 25-second knockout of Chris Hatley, will meet Youssef Zala at UFC 247 next month.
The 25-year-old Lingo talked with The Mix about the opportunity to join his idols in the UFC.
“This is awesome,” Lingo said. “I’ve been planning this since I was 15 years old, training with ‘Cowboy’ (Donald Cerrone) at Greg Jackson’s.
“Thirteen years later and I got here. Now, the work really begins.”
Lights are about to go out in Houston.. Let’s go Lingo!! https://t.co/J5pH4yokBz
— Ryan Spann (@Superman_Spann) January 29, 2020
Both Lingo and Zalal are former Legacy Fighting Alliance standouts. While Lingo is unbeaten, Zalal enters carrying a record of 7-2 with him, highlighted by a November flying-knee finish.
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“My opponent seems to have a well-rounded game,” Lingo said. “I fought his teammate (Phil Gonzalez) and it was my hardest fight. I know they have a great gym and coaches. I’m sure he will come with a good game plan.”
Of his seven career fights, the 2018 meeting with Gonzalez and his professional debut in 2017 against Charles Williams are the only times Lingo has been pushed out of the first round.
Lingo With A Blistering Finish
Four of his five finishes have come within the first minute, including one in 13 seconds over Aaron Webb in late 2018.
— Austin Lingo (@austinlingo) August 7, 2019
Lingo previously talked to The Mix about his ability to score finishes, saying “I have power in both hands. I always prepare and train to go the distance, but I’m always trying to finish.”
Lingo noted that this was the right time to make the move to the UFC despite previous efforts to bring him to the promotion.
“My coached turned down Contender, PFL, ONE and other UFC opportunities,” he said. “He doesn’t let his guys do stuff until he things they are ready. This means a lot to me and the team.
“SuckerPunch had promoted me for a long time to the UFC. They apparently needed a 170 and a 145 for this card and reached out last Saturday. I called coach and he agreed.”
Fight Of The Week: Lingo Vs. Hatley Jr.
UFC 247 takes place Saturday, February 8 from the Toyota Center in Houston. Two championship matches headline the event, as Jon Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes and Valentina Shevchenko puts her flyweight belt up against Katlyn Chookagian.
UFC 247 Fight Card
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones (c) vs. Dominick Reyes
UFC Female Flyweight Championship
Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Katlyn Chookagian
Heavyweight: Juan Adams vs. Justin Tafa
Featherweight: Mirsad Bektic vs. Dan Ige
Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi
Middleweight: Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Arroyo
Welterweight: Alex Morono vs. Kalinn Williams
Female Flyweight: Lauren Murphy vs. Andrea Lee
Bantamweight: Miles Johns vs. Mario Bautista
Bantamweight: Journey Newson vs. Domingo Pilarte
Bantamweight: Andre Ewell vs. Jonathan Martinez
Featherweight: Austin Lingo vs. Youseff Zalala