Kiwi fighter Brad Riddell trains with champions including Alex Volkanovski and he’s on a mission to outclass his opponent at UFC 276.
Kiwi Brad Riddell is determined to rise up the UFC rankings after brushing shoulders with some of the best fighters ever to grace the octagon.
Riddell is taking on Jalin Turner in their lightweight fight that will headline the preliminaries at UFC 276 in Las Vegas on Sunday (AEST).
Watch UFC 276: Adesanya vs Cannonier + Volkanovski vs Holloway LIVE on Main Event available on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday 3rd July from 12pm AEST. ORDER NOW >
The 30-year-old is ranked 14th in the lightweight division and he will have his work cut out against Turner, who is known for his finishing.
“Well I’m going to win,” Riddell told news.com.au of his expectations for the fight.
“I’m looking forward to fighting Jalin. It’s a different challenge. I haven’t fought a tall guy in quite a while so that’s going to be fun.
“I’m looking forward to using a very well-rounded skillset. I think I’m better everywhere in the game than Jalin.”
Riddell was unphased when asked what he made of Turner’s assertion that he has the upper hand because all his wins have come via finishes and Riddell has only won via decision.
“I don’t think anything of it,” he said.
“I think he’s fought one person I have and that was probably not the best performance of my UFC career.
“And the other three guys I fought were stacked killers and I dropped them all. I don’t care what he’s done, he’s got to deal with me and I’m none of them.”
Riddell trains with Alex Volkanovski and Israel Adesanya at City Kickboxing in Auckland and is relishing the chance to rub shoulders with the UFC champions in the gym.
“I get to see that I don’t think I’m too far away from being a champion,” he said.
“I learn a lot from them but I’ve also trained with them a very long time so we’re all doing the same thing and there’s some good things to follow.”
Volkanovski and Adesanya are defending their belts on the main card at T-Mobile Arena and Riddell is thrilled to see Australasian fighters headlining major UFC fight cards.
“I think it’s well deserved,” he said.
“It’s awesome because it’s opening the gate for the future generation of Australasian fighters and I think it’s going to stay this way.
“There’s a lot of upcoming stars, there’s a lot of talent in those countries. For it to be recognized like this, it’s epic.
“It’s an exciting fight week, it’s awesome to be on International Fight Week.”
Riddell will be out to atone for his first UFC loss in his last outing against Rafael Fiziev and make an impact in the middleweight division.
“I’m always motivated,” he said.
“That fight was how I wanted it to be until obviously I made a mistake against a high level striker and I paid for it. I don’t take too much away from the loss. I’m still mentally on the same track.
“I see myself climbing the rankings. I’ve got a couple of people I need to beat. I want to avenge that loss against Rafael.
“But there’s some very, very tasty fights even before the top five that I think are harder than the top five.
“Whether it’s ending up with the belt or just ending up having amazing hard fights with some skilled fighters, it’ll be awesome.”
When does UFC 276 start?
The main card starts at 12pm AEST
The prelims start at 10am AEST
The early prelims start at 8am AEST
How can I watch UFC 276?
PRELIMS: Watch Live UFC with ESPN on Channel 509 or on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >
MAIN CARD: Watch UFC 276: Adesanya vs Cannonier + Volkanovski vs Holloway 3 LIVE on Main Event available on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday 3rd July from 12pm AEST. ORDER NOW >
UFC 276 main card
Israel Adesanya vs Jared Cannonier — Middleweight title fight
Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway — Featherweight title fight
Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira — Middleweight
Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena — Welterweight
Pedro Munhoz vs. Sean O’Malley — Bantamweight
UFC 276 preliminaries
Brad Riddell vs. Jalin Turner — Lightweight
Jim Miller vs. Donald Cerrone — Welterweight
Ian Garry vs Gabe Green — Welterweight
Brad Tavares vs. Dricus Du Plessis — Middleweight