LAS VEGAS – Ricky Turcios may not have the luxury of taking his time in the cage.
But with the media, Turcios is measured in his responses. Before he even picks up the microphone, he processes the question before giving his answer. And reasonably early in his MMA career, it might not be the worst idea to ensure soundbites aren’t ones that have flown off the handle.
So when Turcios (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) says fighting Brady Hiestand (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), his teammate from UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski’s team on Season 29 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” for the bantamweight crown is just another fight, it’s hard not to believe him.
“Facing one of my teammates from the Volkanovski squad in Brady, it doesn’t make it any more difficult,” Turcios told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s media day for UFC on ESPN 30 in Las Vegas. “The challenge of a high-intensity mixed martial arts fight is an incredible challenge all of its own every time you step into the ring and into the heat of battle. Any time you fight, whether you’re fighting in the octagon or the desert or a beach or in a snowy mountain in the North side – a fight is a fight, and it’s always a challenge.
“It’s a very intense and crazy situation we put ourselves in as martial artists. I just stay focused on that task at hand. I have another opponent in front of me. It’s Brady. It’s all respect between me and him. … But inside the octagon, we both know what we signed up for. It’s time to fight. We’re going to have to settle it on Saturday for sure.”
The 28-year-old Turcios got his second shot at the UFC courtesy of “TUF 29.” In 2017, he fought on Dana White’s Contender Series, but lost a unanimous decision to Boston Salmon.
Now he not only has a chance to fight in the UFC, but to win a coveted “Ultimate Fighter” season in order to earn his spot in the promotion. And that, he said, would be big.
“It would mean just an incredible feeling deep in my soul, deep in my heart.”
UFC on ESPN 30 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN+.
Check out the full interview with Turcios in the video above.
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