After just two fights in the Contenders series, Jay Palin found himself briefly fighting tough prospect Mario Bautista on his UFC debut. While that might seem like a relatively quick return, the two-and-a-half-year wait wasn’t easy for Palin. In fact, at first, Palin had a lot of questions about his MMA future.
“For a while, man, that didn’t seem to be the case. For a while after the Contenders series, I felt like I was owed something. I learned that nobody owes us anything. I think I deserve it Not necessarily what I did,” Palin said. “That’s an important lesson I learned. You just move on, and when it’s your time, it’s your time.”
But before he learned his lesson, he experienced some mental health issues. While it was a tough time for Palin, it helped him start to live with the flow and focus on the task at hand.
“After that, I was really sad. I was a minute fatter and I had a lot of soul searching to do,” he shared candidly. “It’s been asked once — when do you think you’re going to be in the UFC? I can’t predict. I can only do what’s in front of me.”
Ultimately, his love for the sport helped him get through. He remembered it was something he loved, and he knew he belonged. Then he went back to work.
“I just remember that I loved doing it. The end goal was obviously to get into the UFC and have a successful career, but I went back to ‘I love doing it.’ I knew I belonged in the upper echelons of the sport,” Palin said . “I just refocused on loving the sport and doing what I love every day. It helps the time pass better.”
Having traveled such a hard road to get here, Palin is now ready to go all out for her first UFC victory. This mentality is sure to create absolute danger.
“This could be a sleeper preliminaries for the cards. Definitely watch this fight because it’s going to be two guys trying to take each other’s heads,” he said. “I’m going to come out of that cage with a shield or shield.”
Perrin will face Qileg Aori in the ESPN+ preliminaries at UFC 278. The game will be played this Saturday.
Listen to the entire audio below at 1:20.