Lance Palmer is in familiar territory coming to the end of 2019. He is facing a familiar opponent in Alex Gilpin; in a venue, he won the 2018 championship for his division. While he has remained undefeated in two seasons, the 2018 featherweight champion says he sees every single fight he has had as a title fight.
Palmer decided to change his training for the 2019 season of the PFL and it looks to have paid off. Palmer told ESPN that he has always wanted to come out to the east coast and train. “It’s always something I’ve wanted to do; it just wasn’t available till now.”
Striking coach Mark Henry said, “It’s like he’s been here forever. The way he gels with the guys, his attitude, how smart he is. Lance fits in perfectly.”
Palmer added that, “It’s awesome to have the ‘east coast style’, because I trained on the west coast for so long.” He added that, “There’s a huge difference, I’m still learning in this game and that’s what’s awesome. I’ve learned in every fight, I’ve gotten better in the last two years faster than I’ve gotten better in the last six previous years.”
While Palmer is looking to party, again this New Year’s Eve the way he did last year, his experiences fighting Gilpin already has him and his team aware of what will likely make for a tougher fight. “He’s a tough opponent, he’s a great opponent and he brings a fight the entire fight,” Palmer said of facing Gilpin again.
While Palmer will look for a finish to cement his legacy, he knows Gilpin has made a legacy of his own with his chokes. “He’s dangerous in that aspect,” Palmer said of Gilpin’s highlight-reel finishes, “That’s something you have to be aware of. If he’s anywhere around your neck, you know that he’s going for a choke.”
Palmer said he and Henry would be bringing some new things to the table since they last faced each other in May. Gilpin is likely doing the same.
Palmer and Gilpin join five other championship bouts on ESPN 2 New Year’s Eve that air at 7 p.m. EST. Be sure and check with MyMMANews for coverage on fight night.