Las Vegas, NV – UFC lightweight Jalin Turner continues his rise through the division as he faces Brad Riddell in the prelims of UFC 276 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
Turner (12-5) faces his first ranked opponent when he takes on #14 ranked Riddell.
“It really feels like that (a big moment), but at the same time I’m not like taking it that way. I just feel like it’s something that was destined to happen. So I’m just taking it in as it comes,” Turner told Cageside Press among other media on Wednesday.
Riddell (10-2) comes into UFC 276 off a knockout loss to Rafael Fiziev last December, but Turner knows the City Kickboxing product is still very dangerous.
“Brad, he’s a good challenge. It’s another step up I think he’s going to be a bit tougher than (Jamie) Mullarkey was. I think he’s going to be more well rounded and willing to get into grappling exchanges this fight, and I’m excited for it,” Turner said.
“The last few times everybody said ‘Oh it’s going to be fight of the night’, and what happened? I go finish. That’s what I come here for.”
Turner holds two losses in his UFC run so far, but has since turned it around with a 4-fight win streak going into UFC 276. Turner mentioned that he took the losses hard, but has since taken his career more seriously knowing he has goals to accomplish before hanging it up.
“I told myself ‘Hey you’ve got to get on the road, get it going’. You want to be a champ you’ve got to do it right, do it now. I don’t want to be fighting until I’m like 40-years-old. I don’t want to do that sh*t. I want to be done at like maybe 35 at the latest,” said Turner.
Turner came into the UFC following a win on Dana White’s Contender series, but then suffering his first loss in the promotion against Vicente Luque at 170 pounds. To see Turner then to now fighting a ranked lightweight on the biggest PPV of the year so far left the fighter with things to reflect on.
“I reflect on it (success) all the time. It still haunts me to this day. Even back then dude I walked around at 170. I didn’t even have to cut weight I just didn’t eat the night before and I made weight that fight. People don’t even know that. They think ‘Oh you’re too big for 55’. No dude, I was small back then,” said Turner.
“Now I’ve got a little bit more weight on me so now I’m like, ‘You know I wonder how it would be if we fought now that I’ve got a little bit more size on me’. It just plays in my head. I’ve grown leaps and bounds. This streak has been a blessing and I just want to keep it going.”
Watch the full UFC 276 media day appearance by Jalin Turner above. Turner faces Brad Riddell on the prelims. The event takes place this Saturday, July 2, 2022 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.