UFC fighter Steven Ray is set to make his third octagon appearance of the year when he takes on Mickael Lebout in Dublin later this year.
The Kirkcaldy lightweight will meet the Frenchman on October 24 on a bill topped by a featherweight duel between Dustin Poirier and Joseph Duffy.
Ray enters the bout on a four-fight winning streak, including a pair of stoppage victories in his first two UFC fights. The former Cage Warriors champion debuted in April with a first-round finish of Marcin Bandel and followed that up with a July knockout of Leonardo Mafra at UFC Glasgow.
Ray is confident he can also stop his next opponent, who has won eight of his last nine fights.
“I’ve had a look at the guy and he looks all-rounded,” Ray told the Press. “It’s the UFC so it’s going to be another tough test but I don’t see anything I’m worrried about. I can beat him anywhere.
“I’ll be training as hard as I can. It’s the most important fight of my life so I’ll be training like I’m fighting Mike Tyson.
“The harder I train the easier it will be in the fight. I believe I’ll put him away, but I’ll prepare for a three round war.”
After earning a $50,000 bonus for his win in Glasgow, Ray admits his life has changed since joining the UFC.
“I’m a lot less stressed about money - I see a future now,” he said. “I’m saving up as much money as I can to possibly buy a house.
“It’s good to finally see good things happening. I’ve just been on holiday for first time in four years.
“I can start enjoying life after all the tough experiences that I’ve been through.”
Ray has also noticed his profile increasing with the level of media coverage he receives through the UFC.
“A few people have stopped me in Asda asking for a photo,” he said. “It’s really cool. Even my next door neighbour figured out who I was from the newspaper. It was the tattoo that made him click.”
Watch Stevie in action at UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Duffy in Dublin. Tickets on sale Friday, September 4 via Ticketmaster.