Sam Patterson is about to make the walk to the UFC Octagon for the first time in his career, but if he’s carrying any pre-fight nerves, he certainly isn’t showing them.
Patterson was all business during media day ahead of his UFC debut at UFC 286, where he’ll take on Yanal Ashmoz at The O2 Arena. He carried himself like a man who was fully prepared for his big moment, and he spoke with clarity and conviction as he chatted to the media ahead of fight night in London.
Patterson earned his spot in the UFC with a second-round submission over Vinicius Censi on Dana White’s Contender Series as he produced a statement performance to earn a contract from UFC president Dana White.
Looking back on that night, he couldn’t help but smile as he talked us through the most important win of his career.
“Yeah, it was an amazing experience,” he said.
“I believe the pressure of the moment, a lot of people can’t handle. A lot of fighters would have carried on racking up wins and just waited for the UFC call outside of that. But putting it all on the line, that’s what you’ve got to do, you know?
“If you truly believe you’re UFC caliber, which I did, and my team did, then the Contender Series is no different. It’s another fight to go out there and prove it in front of Dana White.
“And yeah, I’ve done just that. And what an experience. Flying out to Vegas for the first time – and I loved every second of it – got the job done, got the contract. And I believe being here now … the Contender Series is where I had to earn it, and I’ve done that. So now I’m here and I am ready to go.”
The fight offers Patterson not only the chance to make his Octagon debut, but also to do so in his home town. He trains at Team Crossface in Watford, and he’s excited to perform on home soil in front of his friends and family at The O2 Arena.
“It’s gonna be amazing, I visualised it so many times,” he said.
“The thing is, I’ve visualised this fight, the week, and everything so many times and so many outcomes, I’ve visualised every outcome. But the one thing that sticks the same in all of it is me embracing the moment, and I cannot wait to fight back in front of a home crowd.
“It’s been four years since I’ve done that – four, five years fighting abroad, fighting against opponents (in front of) their home crowd and stuff. So it’s nice to be back on home soil, and have the home crowd on my side.”
With Patterson focused and ready for his debut, he is looking forward to showcasing his skills to the biggest audience of his career.
“They can expect entertainment,” he said.
“I come out to finish. And not I’m not stupid with it, either. And I’m cool, calm and collected.”
And he finished with a short, but clear, prediction as he vowed to continue his penchant for inside-the-distance wins.
“I will find the finish within 15 minutes.”