UFC’s Jalin Turner to continue 155-pound rise while crushing real fears


LAS VEGAS — Jalin Turner picked up his fifth straight win Saturday night in what was supposed to be one of the toughest fights of his UFC run, however, “The Tarantula” made it easy.

Closing out the UFC 276 preliminary card at T-Mobile Arena, Turner (13-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC) got through Brad Riddell in seconds. A crushing right hand quickly prompted Riddell (10-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) to fire for a takedown, and Turner hit on a guillotine choke to force the tap just 45 seconds into the fight.

It was the second ending in less than a minute in his eight fights under the UFC banner, but this one now has Turner knocking on the door to take on the top names in the division as he is likely to enter the official classification of the promotion.

“I was just talking to my manager about how I was fighting at Commerce Casino and now I’m about to have a number next to my name in the UFC,” Turner told reporters including MMA Junkie during of the post-fight press conference. “I always felt like I was going to be a champion, I always felt like I was going to be something big. I always felt like that even when I was in my backyard training. I had nobody, you know Just a kid with a dream, and now it’s all coming true.

Turner’s current five-fight winning streak consists of three submission wins and two TKO finishes, proving he’s ready for the next stage of the competition. In fact, every UFC win has been a stoppage. He even faced Vicente Luque at a higher weight class on his debut on a few days notice in a bid to gain experience. Turner didn’t win that fight, but that was just part of the learning and growing process.

For Turner, for anything to come to fruition in his career, you have to recognize your fears and face them head-on. The nickname “The Tarantula” is more than just a label for Dana White’s Contender series veteran. Some people are afraid of spiders, and Turner explained why he takes that aspect of the nickname.

“It’s a deeper meaning than just a name,” Turner explained. “It’s like overcoming fear, overcoming things that make you uncomfortable, challenging yourself, improving yourself.”

True to his word and his nickname, Turner challenged himself to overcome one of his fears.

“I thought to myself if I get this win I get dizzy, I’m really scared of heights,” Turner said. “I told my coaches we were going skydiving. I win this fight, we’re going skydiving. So this is my next adventure. I have to overcome this next fear.

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