The stakes are higher for Payton Talbott as he proceeds to make his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut. At 25, the promising yet unbeaten UFC prospect is scheduled to confront Nick Aguirre at UFC Fight Night 232’s bantamweight showcase taking place in Las Vegas, at the UFC Apex on Saturday. Talbott, who originates from Nevada, is among the event’s three UFC rookies, training at the Reno Academy of Combat. The other rookies include Rafael Estevam and Caio Machado.
Speaking to Biskinik, the official newspaper of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Talbott stated his readiness and ambition, voicing, “This is where I want to be. I want to fight the toughest guys, and I want to throw hands with the most dangerous people on the planet, and that is what the UFC is right now.” Indeed, Talbott’s track records are outstanding. He has an impeccable 6-0 record, with five finishes, and a ticket to the UFC he got after a three-round unanimous decision over Reyes Cortez Jr. during Week 1 of Dana White’s Contender Series on Aug. 8. Talbott’s performance during the second round, including his comprehensive forward pressure and unleashed considerable arsenal, was impressive. After a doctor’s examination prompted by a significant gash above Cortez’s left eye, Talbott continued his undaunted fight, racking up points without hesitation, and connected with 145 significant strikes.
Despite his successful journey through the UFC, Talbott is looking forward to delivering much more. On a similar note, Aguirre, who trains with the Valle Flow Striking, is also hoping for a comeback following his previous Octagon assignment. Aguirre, a 27-year-old, last participated at UFC Fight Night 217, but unfortunately, ended up on the losing end of a unanimous verdict against Dan Argueta on Jan. 14. Aguirre’s professional victories include seven knockouts, technical knockouts, or submissions. Talbott seems eager for this match-up, stating, “When my opponent is at his best, then I usually fight at my best.”
The UFC Fight Night will have two more rookies making their appearance in separate preliminary bouts. Estevam, with a winning streak of 11 consecutive victories, is set to wrestle against the former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Charles Johnson in a three-round flyweight match. Meanwhile, Machado will be targeting Michael Parkin in a three-round heavyweight bout. Both rookies, Estevam and Machado, have exhibited exceptional performances in their careers, with Estevam earning a spot on the UFC’s roster after defeating Joao Elias, and Machado carrying a seven-fight winning streak from Canada.