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Andre Goncalves on Bellator 187 clash with Brian Moore: ‘I can be world class at featherweight’

Andre Goncalves, right, will fight in Dublin on November 10. Picture: JERRY DAWS

Andre Goncalves, right, will fight in Dublin on November 10. Picture: JERRY DAWS

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Fast-rising MMA star Andre Goncalves says he’s ready for the big time – and he’ll prove it in enemy territory at Bellator 187 in Dublin in November.

Andre Goncalves, left, has won three of his five pro fights. Picture: JERRY DAWS Andre Goncalves, left, has won three of his five pro fights. Picture: JERRY DAWS

Goncalves (3-1-1) faces local star Brian Moore (10-5) at the 3 Arena on November 10 as he makes the move down to featherweight and the step up to a world-renowned promotion.

He was due to fight Jeremy Petley at BAMMA 31 at Wembley Arena last week but that fight fell through – making the charismatic 28-year-old, who fights out of Tsunami Thetford, even more determined to shine when he finally gets his big chance.

“November 10 I shall be walking into enemy territory and shocking them all by beating their local hero,” he said. “He’s got as many losses as I’ve got fights, but that doesn’t faze me in the slightest.

“He might have 10,000 people screaming for him, but they can’t fight for him. When that cage shuts, it’s just me and him.”

Andre Goncalves is known for his boxing, wrestling and confidence. Picture: JERRY DAWS Andre Goncalves is known for his boxing, wrestling and confidence. Picture: JERRY DAWS

And it will be Goncalves and Moore – a product of the same famed SBG Gym where superstar Conor McGregor trains – at a new weight for the Norfolk fighter, ten pounds lighter than he’s previously fought at.

- Contenders 18 report: Andre Goncalves impresses

Unsurprisingly, the confident Portuguese can’t see an issue with either the new weight or the vast experience gap between him and Moore, who’s fought on the likes of Bellator, BAMMA and Cage Warriors.

“If you look at a few of my recent fights, my opponents have been bigger,” he explained. “I’ve never felt at a strength disadvantage at lightweight though. Aaron Khalid (whom Goncalves fought out a thrilling draw with at Contenders 15 in Norwich) is a welterweight now, but I threw him down whenever I wanted.

“The plan is to move down and be a beast at featherweight. The cut is going to be a challenge, but I’m already dieting down and I look lean and mean. This is the weight where I can be world class.”

He added: “This is a big opportunity for me. Some people may say it’s too early in my career, but when isn’t it? How long do I have to wait? I’ve got to put myself out there, because the UFC aren’t just going to come and knock on my door with a contract. I believe I’ve got something to offer.

“I’ve been the underdog since I arrived in this country at the age of ten. Nothing is going to change until I become a champion.”

The Ipswich Town stalwart recalls his fondest memories, his regrets and expectations in his final interview before jetting off to begin his American dream.

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Martyn Waghorn knows he and his team-mates must rediscover their clinical side and begin to put together winning runs if they are maintain any kind of play-off push.

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