Sean Brady hopes finish over Christian Aguilera proves he's serious welterweight contender
Sean Brady is looking to notch his first UFC finish so he can start separating himself from the pack at 170 pounds.
Brady (12-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) faces Christian Aguilera at UFC on ESPN+ 34 on Aug. 29, which takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The former CFFC welterweight champion is off to a good start in his UFC career, having notched wins over veteran Court McGee and prospect Ismail Naurdiev.
While Brady admits he was hoping to draw a bigger name for this fight, that doesn’t mean he’s taking recently-signed Aguilera lightly.
“Just because my name’s not the biggest,” Brady told MMA Junkie. “But I did have two UFC fights already, and I felt like I just wanted a name – someone else’s name to get my name bigger. But Christian is a super-tough guy, nothing against him. He had a great first UFC fight. He’s got a good record overall, he’s a tough guy, he’s a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, he’s got knockouts on his record, so I’m taking him as serious as if I was fighting No. 5 in the world.
“I just wanted a bigger name, just to get my name bigger. But it is what it is, I’ll fight him, I’ll beat him and hopefully I’ll get a bigger name. But if not, I’ll just keep winning and eventually they’re going to have to give me a bigger name.”
Training out of Renzo Gracie Philly, undefeated Brady has shown off a well-rounded game in his first two fights, using his striking to beat McGee and his wrestling to control Naurdiev.
He will look to use his ever-improving grappling skills in his fight with Aguilera. But this time Brady is eager to get the finish. Brady almost finished McGee when he dropped him in Round 1, and almost secured the submission against Naurdiev before the clock ran out. It hasn’t been for a lack of trying, but Brady thinks a finish is what will help him secure the bigger fights he’s chasing.
“He’s a really good striker, he’s got really good boxing, but I just feel like I’m a little more versatile than him,” said Brady. “Obviously I’m gonna take him down. That’s my plan, is to take him down, but I’m gonna mix it up on the feet, too. I just need to get a finish. I need to finish him on the feet or I need to finish him on the ground. I need to prove to the UFC and show everybody else that I can finish fights and I have that ability to do that, because I do.”
He continued, “I’ve been working a lot of heavy ground and pound, submission – I think I can finish the fight anywhere. I hit hard, I’ve got good submissions, I’ve got good ground and pound, so a finish is a finish. I just want to finish the fight, whether it’s in the first 10 seconds or the last 10 seconds of the fight, I just know I need to finish the fight, impress Sean Shelby, impress Dana White, impress those guys and let them know that I’m a serious contender at welterweight.”
Brady has spent this training camp under the guidance of former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, who has served as a perfect training partner for him.
“Eddie and me are from the same city and we never really got to train much together before this time,” Brady said. “But I knew he was trying to get some training in, and with all this COVID stuff going on, all the gyms were shut down so he wasn’t getting anything in. So I reached out to him and we’ve been training ever since.
“We started training a couple of months ago and just turned out that I was fighting Christian Aguilera. They kind of have the same body style so it was just perfect timing for me to get training with him. We’re sparring, we’re wrestling, we’re doing everything together, so it’s been perfect working with Eddie. He’s a veteran, he’s a world champion and he’s giving me all kinds of little tips and just helping me out with a lot of stuff, so it’s been really good.”