Kevin Natividad recounts UFC debut fallout ahead of UFC on ESPN+ 39

Kevin Natividad dropped from his bed to the floor.

The 27-year-old never even realized he slid down while hearing that his UFC debut was being put on hold. After a false positive COVID-19 test, followed by back-to-back negative results from two other tests, Natvidad was pulled from his UFC on ESPN+ 34 main card bout in September.

Natividad has gone through fight week and hit the scales as a UFC fighter, but he will make his first octagon walk against Miles Johns at UFC on ESPN+39 on Oct. 31. Natividad is regaining his hunger to compete after getting over the devastating news he received in his hotel room.

“I didn’t even noticed, I was sitting on the bed when they told me and I was sitting on the floor after. I was bummed out,” Natividad said. 

“Even leading up to this fight, I lost my appetite. I finally hit back finally when I got the other fight, but it hit me pretty hard to be honest.”

Kevin Natividad remained hopeful

Natividad stayed optimistic even after he received the phone call about being pulled off the card for precautionary reasons. Natividad and his brother Christian remained in Las Vegas, Nevada and trained on the day of the fight.

Nativdad checked in with the promotion one more time, only to find out nothing changed. His UFC debut was on hold. 

“In my head it felt like I was still fighting, it didn’t feel real,” Natividad said. “I was sitting in my room, finally got off the floor and I was just like, ‘No, I might fight tomorrow. They might call me and I might tomorrow. I’m not going to get that out of my head until someone tells me that.”

Lets try this again

Instead of fighting Brian Kelleher on a main card spot, Natividad draws Johns on the prelims. Johns is two fights in his UFC career, splitting with one win and one loss.

Johns suffered his first career loss in his last outing at UFC 247 this past February. He suffered a TKO loss to Mario Bautista in the second round.

Natividad considers himself a jiu-jitsu fighter, but five of his nine victories have come by knockout or TKO. He is fresh off a first-round knockout of Kyle Estrada at LFA 85 in July.

His first octagon bout is weeks away, but Natividad is not feeling the same way he did in the lead up to his previously scheduled bout with Kelleher.

“Honestly I want to say it doesn’t feel like my UFC debut,” Natividad said. “Knowing how it already goes, especially in Vegas, I am almost trying to make myself feel the jitters, but I just don’t really feel that right now.”

Natividad spoke to MyMMANews about being pulled from UFC on ESPN+34, being rescheduled, Miles Johns and his passion for anime and comics. You can see Natividad’s full interview in the video above.

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Connor Northrup
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.