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Joe Pyfer says he’s ‘a trending superstar’ going into UFC Fight Night 236 main event

Joe Pyfer thinks he’s on the cusp of breaking through into the larger public purview as he approaches a main event opportunity for the first time Saturday at UFC Fight Night 236.

In just his fourth octagon appearance, Pyfer (12-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will take on Jack Hermansson (23-8 MMA, 10-6 UFC) in a five-round middleweight bout at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas (ESPN+). He’s getting a headline opportunity quicker than the average fighter of his UFC experience, but in his mind, it’s all for good reason.

“I wouldn’t describe it as being thrusted into a spot,” Pyfer told Aaron Bronsteter of Sportsnet. “I think I’ve earned this spot. I’ve finished three fights, I’ve made sure I’m exciting, I say what I’m going to do, I go out there, and I back it up. I think I’m a draw – I’m becoming a draw, anyway. I think I’m a trending superstar, and I think if everything goes as I expect it to Saturday, I think I’m on that superstar level. On the way to that level.

“I deserve the fast track. I have a story, I have the charisma, I know how to speak, and I’m an absolute freakin’ unit.”

After finishing his first three UFC opponents in just over nine minutes of total fight time, Pyfer, 27, gets a noteworthy step up in competition against Hermansson, who is No. 15 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie middleweight rankings.

Hermansson, 35, has shared the cage with many of the elite at 185 pounds, including former champ Sean Strickland, Kelvin Gastelum, Jared Cannonier, “Jacare” Souza and more. Pyfer isn’t intimidated by the experience, though, and expects to shine on fight night.

“I don’t care about the ranking – No. 10 (in the UFC’s official rankings) doesn’t make him have extra fighting skills or extra cardio or a better chin to take these punches,” Pyfer said. “I’m just going to treat it like another fight, go out there and do my job and be exciting and talk my stuff.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 236.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie