Used to bizarre circumstances, UFC 234 just another day at the office for Lando Vannata

MELBOURNE, Australia – Lando Vannata had a pretty unique circumstance that took him from the UFC 234 prelims Saturday on Fight Pass straight to the co-main event.

When Robert Whittaker had to be hospitalized and pulled from the main event on short notice, Israel Adesanya-Anderson Silva moved up from the co-main, and the promotion needed a fight to move up to the pay-per-view. The powers-that-be plucked Vannata vs. Marcos Mariano from the early prelims, and Vannata took advantage of the opportunity.

With a few extra hours’ sleep and a co-main event slot, Vannata (10-3-2 MMA, 2-3-2 UFC) submtited Mariano (6-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with a first-round kimura at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

But despite the abnormal way he got to the co-feature, Vannata is used to it.

“It’s become kind of normal,” Vannata told MMAjunkie after the fight. “My (UFC) debut was co-main on short notice (against Tony Ferguson). My fight with (David) Teymur (at UFC 209) was co-main on 24 hours’ notice. I woke up this morning, was getting ready to go down to the bus, got the word, and went back to sleep. Just another day.”

The win was a crucial one for Vannata, who hadn’t gotten his hand raised since a bonus-winning knockout of John Makdessi a little more than two years ago at UFC 206. Since then, before Saturday he had losses to Teymur and Drakkar Klose and a pair of draws with Bobby Green and Matt Frevola.

Now that he’s back in the win column, Vannata said he’d love to fight veteran lightweight Jim Miller.

“I’ve been a big fan of Jim Miller since Day One,” Vannata said. “I think it would be a really fun matchup. We’re both from the same area of the world, we’re both into the same thing, so it would be an honor to share the cage with him. I heard (Donald) ‘Cowboy’ (Cerrone) and Conor (McGregor) are supposed to fight this summer, so whenever they get theirs booked, I’d like to get on the same card.”

For more from Vannata, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 234, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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