Mark Cherico is just a few hours away from the biggest fight of his life.
Tonight, “The Pride of Bloomfield” will have an opportunity to prove that he belongs on the big stage, as he takes on Mike Santiago as part of Dana White’s Contender Series on UFC Fight Pass.
The UFC president White will have a front row seat to witness the fight, and it could propel Cherico to the ultimate goal he set for himself when beginning the sport over a decade ago.
Cherico boasts an impressive 11-1 record as a pro and is already the top-ranked fighter in Pennsylvania by Tapology. His opponent Santiago holds the top spot in Indiana.
While Cherico is laser focused on his bout tonight, he also admits that he’s mapping out a plan for down the road.
“My main focus is Mike Santiago. Once I get to the UFC, I would love to avenge my only loss, Brian Kelleher, now that he is in the UFC,” Cherico told MyMMANews.com. “That’s down the road, that’s gonna be down the road. I want to get this contract and then I want to let Dana White and [UFC matchmakers] Sean [Shelby] and Mick [Maynard] know that it would be jacked up if they didn’t put me on the Pittsburgh card.”
So far, 11 fighters have earned UFC contracts through the first six weeks of the summer-long series, and tonight Cherico bump that number to 12. Check out the full lineup for tonight’s event below.
Anton Berzin vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu
JP Buys vs. Joby Sanchez
Benito Lopez vs. Steven Peterson
Mark Cherico vs. Mike Santiago
Jordan Espinosa vs. Nick Urso
*subject to change