Kirkcaldy’s Steven Ray has got his wish and earned a place on the upcoming UFC Belfast card after stepping in to replace an injured fighter.
The 26-year-old will face England’s Ross Pearson at The SSE Arena on November 19 in the co-main event after American lightweight James Krause pulled out.
The UFC acted quickly to draft Ray, who has lost just once in four outings since being signed by the world’s biggest mixed martial arts brand last year.
Ray is keen to bounce back from his first UFC defeat - conceding a unanimous decision to home fighter Alan Patrick in Brazil in September.
Prior to that, Ray had turned in impressive displays to defeat Marcin Bandel, Leonardo Mafra and Mickael Lebout in his first three UFC contests.
“I’ve been training away since my last fight and trying to keep my weight fairly low just in case, so it’s worked out braw,” he told Press.
“It’s a good fight, and it’s the co-main event as well, so it’s a big opportunity to get my name out there and rebound from the last one.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of people tuning in, and Pearson is not lilke my last guy, he’ll come to fight, so it’s going to be exciting.
“It’s a chance for me to get last fight brushed under the carpet and get back to winning ways.
“I definitely don’t want to lose two in a row and will be going out to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The ‘Battle of Britain’ fight is thought to be the first between a Scotsman and an Englishman in the history of the UFC - an extra incentive for the patriotic Fifer, who has earned the nickname Stevie ‘Braveheart’ Ray.
“I might even watch the Braveheart film the night of the weigh-ins to get me psyched up,” he said.
“Any time I’m fighting an Englishman it gives me a wee extra spur to think about that stuff.
“I’ve already got plans to come out with the bagpipes.”