UFC: Welcome to the 29th season of The Ultimate Fighter! How does it feel to be here and be a part of this season?
Phillips: It’s crazy. This is not a place I never thought I would be. Where I come from and apply and now I’m here it’s crazy. Just being here has been a dream come true. I have a lot of fun with it. I can feel the weight of the season – it’s here and I’m thrilled.
UFC: You had an interesting journey to be a part of the show. What was it like training in Alaska in such a remote area?
Philips: What I had to do to get here. Where I used to train there was no gym, and I made my own little gym, working out in bad weather. This is a great opportunity for me and I’m not going to do anything to ruin it. It’s awesome. Every day in Kotzebue, a small rural Alaskan town, being an Inupiaq and growing up with the culture there, I knew I had to do something to train if I wanted to pursue this career.
I never had any coaches. I never did anything other than watch YouTube videos and learn. It’s going to be great. Everything I have done has been an experience for everything I have done for myself and to fight. It will be great to have a baseboard to build on.
UFC: Why do you think you will be the last man to participate in this competition? Why are you going to win The Ultimate Fighter Season 29?
Phillips: I like to be in front of the person; I like to keep the pressure on. I don’t like being on more of an arm’s length and that’s something I can really bring to the table. It’s a training that I’ve never had before, and I’ve always adapted really well, and I’ve always grown really fast and learned really fast, and I have the mentality to do it. I think I will win.
Be sure to tune in to Season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter, which premieres live on ESPN + on June 1 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.