Lance Palmer eyes UFC debut…eventually
Lance Palmer still has a season to complete and the mission of winning a third straight league title. However, the two-time Professional Fighters League featherweight champion still plans on making a move to the Ultimate Fighting Championship eventually. Not because he has soured on his tenure with the PFL. Although recent bumps in the road between he and his employer have changed the dynamics of their relationship. No, for Palmer, stepping into the Octagon is about achieving a goal he’s had since day one training at Team Alpha Male, and to prove to himself once and for that he is the elite fighter he believes he is.
Lance Palmer eyes UFC before he is done in MMA
“I had a Hewlitt Packard computer from college when I first moved out to Sacramento. I was actually living in a garage that was transformed into a bedroom at one of Urijah Faber’s houses. I think he had like two or three fighter houses at the time. I was living in a f*cking garage with a mattress on the floor, and bugs and sh*t in there. And I was paying $300 a month to live [there],” Palmer told MixedMartialArts.com with a laugh.
I just started training for fighting; I didn’t even have my first pro fight yet. I got a picture off of google of the UFC belt [and] put it as my background on that computer. And even though that computer is fried by now, I can still open that computer up and the background screen still has a picture of the UFC belt.
It’s pretty [similar] to what Michael Chandler said, I think in the UFC 262 countdown. He said if I’m 41-years-old, and I look back and I never got the opportunity to actually fight for a UFC title, or in the UFC to see if I’m good enough; when all is said and done and I’m sitting there drinking a beer on my back patio and [I’ll wonder] did I make the right decision, or did I not give myself the chance to do that.
That’s what it’s all about. That was the goal I’ve always had since the very beginning. It may not be this year or next year. But my main goal in fighting is to be the best. And if I can’t be the best, [I want to] at least give myself a shot to be the best. To prove that I am, or not, what I believe I am.”
While the former World Series of Fighting featherweight champion dreams of one day competing for the Las Vegas-based promotion, he won’t go as far as saying his days with the PFL are numbered. He has always been a fighter that holds earning fair value as a prize-fighter above his desires as a competitor.
The league made difficult decisions last year when they cancelled the 2020 season because of the global pandemic, and held fighters to their contracts despite not being able to offer them bouts for over a year. It put a strain on his relationship with the league, but in his mind it did not change things to a level where he would hold a grudge when it came time to talk a possible season four contract.
“I never would close the door [on returning] because I don’t hold a grudge or anything,” Palmer says. “It really isn’t about not wanting to fight for PFL. There’s things that need to be worked out if I continue after this year. When it comes down to it, it’s what’s best for me mentally, [and] what I think that I want to do in this sport.”
In the full interview, Palmer talks the difficulties of the long quarantines fighters must go through to compete in the PFL this season. How it may have affected him in his surprise PFL 1 loss to Bubba Jenkins. What motivates him after already winning two league championships. If fatherhood has changed his outlook on fighting. His upcoming PFL 4 matchup against Jesse Stirn, and more can be found in the video below.