So many fighters have sat in those Dana White Contender Series chairs and wondered what was to come of their career. Did Dana White think their performance was worthy of a new contract and a trip to the biggest organization in the world or is it back to the regional circuit?
For Sam Patterson, the worry wasn’t there at all. For one, he barely had time to think about it with only a Bo Nickal destruction coming after his fight. However, it wasn’t only the rush of the whole ordeal, but also his surpreme confidence in himself even from a young age.
“I’ve been competing since I was 16 and I’ve always said I would get to the UFC, so it was obviously a dream come true,” Patterson said. “But there wasn’t that shock factor – like I wasn’t going to do it. A lot of people say they’re going to do something without actually backing it up. I’ve always said I would get to the UFC and had that intention since a young age.”
That’s not to say that he wasn’t happy when he heard his name called – he was – but his first thoughts were not those of relief. Instead it was a sense of belonging as he always knew he had and a recognition that it was time to go to work.
“When it finally came, I thought ‘I’m exactly where I’m meant to be,” he said. “This is exactly where I said I would be. Now the next part is staying here. I had a 10-year career getting to the UFC – I want 10 years in the UFC.”
Patterson gets his first chance to make that dream a reality this Saturday. He takes on fellow newcomer Yanal Ashmoz. While he knew little about his opponent before the booking, he is confidence the judges won’t become involved in this outcome.
“It ends within the 15 minutes. I find the finish within 15 minutes. I’m in the best shape of my life, I’m prepared, I’m focused, and I never predict what I’m going to get – I kind of go after what’s in front of me,” Patterson stated. “But I can guarantee it’s over within 15 minutes.”
That fight with Ashmoz takes place on the ESPN+ prelims of UFC 286, which starts at 1pm EST.
You can hear the entire audio of this interview below at 1:55.