Stevie Ray has set his sights on mixing it with the lightweight division’s elite this year.
The Scot announced himself as a genuine 155lb contender last October with a majority decision victory over Michael Johnson in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 162 in Singapore.
And after claiming the biggest scalp of career, 'Braveheart' is now on a mission to test himself against the top dogs in the division.
“I want to f**k some people up this year and get into the top 15,” Ray said.
“That’s my goal. I want to get into the top 15 this year and state my name more worldwide.
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"And I want to get on these worldwide cards and show everybody I’m the real deal.”
Kirkcaldy’s Ray went into his showdown with Johnson as a huge underdog following a first-round knockout loss to Leonardo Santos last June.
The 29-year-old was thrilled to have silenced his doubters, saying: “They gave me that little bit more motivation to prove people wrong.
“And I knew it was an opportunity of a lifetime to set some good stuff up. I’m happy to have silenced them.”
Ray’s first outing of 2020 will be a Battle of Britain’s against England’s Marc Diakiese, which will take place at UFC Fight Night 171 at London’s O2 Arena in March.
The former Cage Warriors lightweight champion is relishing the opportunity to finally get his hands ‘Bonecrusher’ and prove he’s the best 155lb fighter in the UK.
“It’s a fight the British fans have been wanting for a while," Ray said. "Diakiese is a tough fighter and he’s a good fighter.
“There’s a bit of banter between us, but there’s definitely a bit of beef between us too. And I like those type of fights.
“I’ve been brought up in a rough area and had a lot of fights in my life. And they’re always better when you don’t see eye-to-eye with somebody.
"It'll be a good fight. He’s obviously a tricky guy. But I’d love to show everybody I’m better than him.”
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