Boston Salmon: 'I'm not even that excited' for debut at UFC 236
ATLANTA – Boston Salmon has mixed emotions about finally stepping into the octagon for his debut on Saturday at UFC 236.
It’s been a long road for Salmon (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) to get to the point where he can compete in the bantamweight matchup with Khalid Taha (12-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC). He earned his UFC contract on the first episode of Dana White’s Contender Series in July 2017, but hasn’t been able to fight since.
Salmon’s road back included a knee surgery and three scratched fights. After all the adversity, he admits it’s difficult to muster enthusiasm.
“It’s been a long delay, it’s been almost two years and I had three bouts that fell through and to be honest, I’m not even that excited for this fight,” Salmon told MMA Junkie. “I don’t know what to expect now. I’ve been training hard, I’ve been preparing, my body is 100 percent, I’m healthy and I’m ready to go.”
UFC 236 takes place at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Salmon vs. Taha is part of the ESPN-televised prelims, which follow early prelims on UFC Fight Pass prior to the pay-per-view main card.
The 641-day layoff is the longest of Salmon’s more than five-year career. He said he’s taken all the right steps to ensure he’s 100 percent when he steps in the octagon and is not concerned about the concept of “ring rust.
“I think rust is more mentally,” Salmon said. “The moment I got surgery I was in UFC PI almost every day. If I wasn’t rehabbing my knee, I was working out. They had me on a good program and I was progressing over time.”
Although Salmon, 28, admits his emotions aren’t what he thought they’d be on the biggest fight week of his career, he expects that to wash away by fight night. He said he likes the pairing with Taha and is confident he can get the win.
“You can tell he wants to strike,” Salmon said. “I’m a striker, it’s going to be an exciting fight, for sure, on paper.”
To hear more from Salmon, check out the full interview above.