Las Vegas, NV — In a competitive featherweight fight that kicked off the Noche UFC main card on Saturday, Canada’s Kyle Nelson came away with a unanimous decision victory — his second straight inside the octagon.
Going to the scorecards is always a coin toss, of course, something Nelson expanded on following the fight, speaking with media outlets including Cageside Press.
“I mean, you never know with the judges. I knew I was able to defend a lot of his shots and land a lot of my own, but you never know what the judges are seeing. Sometimes if he’s punching my guard, they may not see if it’s landing or not,” Nelson (15-5-1) noted. “So it’s hard to tell with the judges. But I was fairly confident. I knew I wobbled him pretty good a couple of times, landed some head kicks. I shot a coupe takedowns, got him to touch his butt on the mat. I felt like I did more overall for sure.”
Nelson had high praises for both Fernando Padilla, his opponent Saturday, and Blake Bilder, who he fought last time out.
“Fernando’s a great prospect, a great up-and-comer, as well as my previous opponent Blake Bilder,” stated Nelson. As for as Padilla, who the UFC appear to have earmarked as a top-flight prospect, “the sky’s the limit for him. He’s still young, he’s super tall, lanky guy, great skill set for the UFC. Just unfortunately he ran into me tonight.”
Following his second straight win, Canada’s Nelson called out UFC legend and Hall of Famer “Killer” Cub Swanson. There might be a little national pride on the line when it comes to that one.
“I’ve looked up to Cub Swanson for a long time. I’ve been fighting a lot of these up-and-comers with a lot of hype behind them. I’d like to get a fight against a UFC veteran now,” Nelson explained, adding “He’s coming off of his win against Hakeem Dawodu, another Canadian. I thought that decision was a little bit iffy, so I’d love to get that one back for Canada.”
One of the last times Cub Swanson fought in Canada, the ensuing spectacle punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame. His UFC 206 showdown with Doo-Ho Choi now resides in the Hall’s Fight Wing, and that’s the sort of performance Nelson is hoping for.
“Absolutely. Cub comes to fight and I come to fight, and there’d be nothing I’d love more than to put on a great show and have it end up in the UFC Hall of Fame.”
During Fight Week, Nelson posted a clip from his media day appearance to social media, in which he talks about wanting his children to appreciate his work ethic, not just marvel at him being a professional fighter.
“It’s a message I’ve been wanting to get out. I do this sport because I love it, I grew up on it, it’s been my dream for a long time,” Nelson told Cageside Press on Saturday. “But I want to instill so much more in my kids, I don’t want them to just look at me and say ‘oh my dad’s a fighter.'”
While he’s gone further in the sport than many expected, “I want them to be proud of my work ethic,” explained Nelson. “Something that can be transferable into any sport or any career. If they can take anything from me, I would love them to take that hard work ethic and put it into their dream.”
Nelson’s family is about to expand, with a third child on the way. “The excitement’s through the roof, and it’s just the beginning because we want to have a lot of kids.”
Watch the full Noche UFC post-fight press conference with Kyle Nelson above.