Kansas City, MO – One of the younger up-and-coming lightweights in the UFC, Daniel Zellhuber earned his first victory in the promotion at UFC Kansas City on Saturday night.
“I’m super excited about being here finally on the other side of the fight with this first UFC win. It means a lot you know because coming from 10 years without a loss, and then having my biggest dream and lost the first fight. It was tough,” Zellhuber told reporters including Cageside Press on Saturday night.
“But then I just (went) back to the drawing board, keep training, and now I’m here you know. With the first UFC win.”
The Mexico City product moved his training camp to Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, NV. The move clearly paid dividends for the young Mexican lightweight.
“This is my second fight camp there and now I feel better than ever because now I know everybody. Now I feel like I am part of the family. For me it’s important having my team, not only as like a working team you know? I like that feeling of being a family, and that’s what I’m creating here with my team,” he said.
Coming into Kansas City and being on the prelims Zellhuber wasn’t quite sure what reception he would receive from the crowd. The KC fans gave him a rousing welcome, and ultimately energy for the young fighter.
“Mexicans are crazy. We’re a crazy culture. So for me it’s crazy that you can, whatever sport you are watching (anywhere in the world), you are going to see a Mexican flag I bet. Being here, when I started walking out and everybody was screaming, I was expecting people to boo me,” said Zellhuber.
What Zellhuber got was anything but boos.
“But then everybody was like ‘Yeah! Come on!’ and I feel the energy and I was super happy. At some point I forgot that I was about to fight. I feel that, that was key for me to win in this fight, that I wasn’t feeling pressure. I think that this is the first fight that I really enjoyed in a long time,” he said.
Zellhuber (13-1) is just one of the many Mexican fighters who are making noise in the UFC. With recent champions Brandon Moreno, Alexa Grasso and Yair Rodriguez making a lot of noise, it’s something for young fighters from Mexico and Latin America to grab onto.
“As Conor McGregor once says, ‘We’re not here to take part. We’re here to take over.’ Three Mexican champions, a lot of young talent fighters coming up, so you know for me being here, having this win against a guy like Lando Vannata, that means a lot for me,” Zellhuber said.
And as far as fighting in his home country, and city at that, Zellhuber could only imagine what that will be like.
“Imagine that in Mexico. Arena Ciudad de Mexico, something like that, it would be nuts. Now MMA start growing in Mexico because, you know, we suck at soccer, but we’re good at fighting. People started realizing that,” he said.
“Right now we are the culture with the most champions in the UFC. We don’t suck at fighting.”
Watch the entire post-fight scrum with Daniel Zellhuber above.