MarQuel Mederos on Earning UFC Contract After DWCS Win: ‘It Feels Phenomenal’

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MarQuel Mederos stamped his way into the UFC with a knockout win over Issa Isakov on the Contender Series on Oct. 10.

“It feels like it’s worth it,” Mederos told MMASucka after earning the contract. “I feel like I put in a lot of work to get there, and it was only a matter of time, so it feels phenomenal.”

A perfectly timed knee put Isakov out just over 4 minutes into the lightweight bout. Mederos said he set the knee up, so it wasn’t unexpected, but still “great.”

He recalled speaking with his Factory X head coach, Marc Montoya, as they were about to make the walk to the cage.

[Luis] Rocha had just knocked out [Davi] Bittencourt with a knee, and I looked at [Montoya], and I was like, ‘Make it two in a row?’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ We walked out, and the exact same thing.”

Mederos admitted he wasn’t even thinking about the contract immediately after landing the knee, because emotions were high, but it began setting in when his hand was raised.

“In the moment, I was like, ‘Yeah, I got the job done,'” he said.

When asked if coming out of the bout with a win and UFC deal was a relief and validation, Mederos said “yes but no.”

“It’s validating in a sense like we’re here. But if you look at it a little too much, you get caught up in the story. You’re like, ‘I finally made it to the UFC.’ And then you’ll be one of those guys two losses and out. It validated it to a certain point, but I think I’ll be even more validated once we get a few wins in the UFC.”

Mederos called out James Llontop, who secured a UFC contract with his own Contender Series win on Sept. 12, after the fight. But he said anyone in the lightweight division “can get it.”

Mederos said he wants to fight on the Dec. 16 card alongside his teammate, Brandon Royval, who is fighting flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja for the title.

“If I can get [Llontop] Dec. 16 or anybody Dec. 16, really, that’d be perfect.”

Mederos isn’t thinking of fights with the current elite of the lightweight division.

“I feel like most of the top lightweights right now are one or two years out the door. When the fresh blood starts getting in the top 5, then we’ll talk. But most of the guys right now or older so we’ll have to see.”

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Michael is a big MMA fan who enjoys interviewing the sport's athletes, writing about the sport, and just discussing it. He earned his Master's in Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and his B.A. in Journalism at Stony Brook University. He also enjoys hockey, football and baseball. Feel free to hit him up if you want to discuss MMA, or any other sport!

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