Lance Palmer is the former two-time World Series of Fighting featherweight champion and a four-time all-American wrestler out of Ohio State University.
During his stint with the WSOF he has defeated the likes of Alexandre Almeida, Chris Horodecki, Rick Glenn and Nick LoBosco. Last time out, in March, he dropped a five-round unanimous decision to Andre Harrison and lost his WSOF title in the process.
Keen to get back on the horse and secure a third crack at his old belt, Palmer, 11-3, will face Steven Siler on November 2 at a Professional Fighters League charity event. First, he answered the questions of Fighters Only contributor Tony Reid.
Question: What is something nobody knows about you?
Lance Palmer: A lot of people don’t know that I am a very giving person. I am always there for people. Even though I joke around a lot, I am a kind-hearted person. I always look out for the best interests of other people.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to a younger you?
LP: The advice I would give a younger me is don’t drink and drive!
Q: What is your inspiration to fight?
LP: The inspiration is to be the best in the world. That’s what it comes down to. If you don’t have that motivation, whatever that motivation is for whatever you do… for me it’s to be the best in the world at what I do. Right now that is MMA. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning and keeps me in the gym every day.
Q: What is your standout memory from your first fight?
LP: Getting the finish in the first round and getting that first win in the record books.
Q: What is the best moment in your career so far?
LP: The best moment in my career so far was my win at World Series of Fighting 16 over Rick (Glenn) to capture the featherweight championship.
Q: What makes MMA better than other sports?
LP: You get to put everything together. You get to see who is the best at putting it all together. Some people may not be the best at pure jiu-jitsu when you roll with them, or they might not be the best boxer when you spar, or they might not be the best wrestler when you wrestle, but it can be a different story when you put it all together in a real fight. When you put everything together, you find out who is the best. That’s the beauty of MMA.
Q: What feels better: a knockout or submission victory?
Q: Who is the best opponent you have faced?
LP: Each opponent has had their own positive traits and strengths, so that’s tough. I would have to say my most fun, back-and-forth fight that was against Jared Downing for my RFA title. I don’t know if he was my best opponent but that was the most fun fight I have been in. The back-and-forth made it fun. It was my first battle. It was a five-round fight. That was before I opened up on my feet and started throwing hands. He was tough. He kept coming forward and took some good shots. That’s probably why it was my most fun fight.
Q: What’s the best way to get pumped before a fight?
LP: Just having my teammates and my corner there is great. Also, the extra support system, whether it’s the fans and the crowd or the people behind you in your corner as you walk out. That’s what gets me pumped. Visualizing right before the fight. You have already cut the weight. You have already put in the work. You have already warmed up. You have done everything you could. You visualize going in there and putting it on that person. That’s what gets me pumped up; getting ready to go in there and stake my claim in the cage and show my dominance.
Q: What job did you have before becoming a fighter?
LP: I trained exotic animals my entire life. It was more of a lifestyle than a job. I loved doing it so much. I worked with bears, lions, wolves, kangaroos, alligators, tigers… my dad and my uncle owned a 23-acre farm and trained wild, exotic animals. That was my best job.
Q: Which famous person do you resemble?
LP: Since I did some blonde highlights (Urijah) Faber liked calling me Vanilla Ice or Jay Cutler, the professional bodybuilder. They were calling me ‘Baby Jay Cutler’ because of the hair and the body type. I don’t really look like either guy but the hairstyle does it.
Q: If you could invite three guests to dinner, past or present, who would you choose?
LP: Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Brad Pitt. I think Warren Buffet for the business side. Bill Gates just for motivation and inspiration. He dropped out of school before creating Microsoft. I would love to talk to him for inspiration and to hear the story of his success. I would pick Brad Pitt because I have always wanted to be an actor or be in a movie. I have entertained people my whole life through wrestling and now fight fans through fighting. I would like to be an entertainer after my fight career is over. I would like to talk to Brad Pitt to see what he has gone through from start to finish as an entertainer.
Q: What is the best lesson life has handed you?
LP: Not to take things for granted. There have been a few different things that have happened to me. I was in a bad car crash about a year-and-a-half ago. We flipped a truck a few times down the street. The guy driving was being an idiot, trying to pass somebody on a turn. We got off balance and rolled the truck head over heels, side-to-side down the street. I came out with no scratches, nothing. The driver had a concussion and that was it. For me being in that position and coming out with no injuries, whether you believe in God or not, some higher power looked over us and kept us safe. That was the lesson I learned: don’t take life for granted. You are only given one life. Live life to the fullest but, at the same time, you have to realize you can’t take people for granted, whether it’s a girlfriend or a wife or another family member. It will haunt you.