Just over a decade later, Puelles’ grandfather has passed away, but he’s still in the heart and mind of a young man about to embark on the most important fight of his career. professional MMA Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
“For obvious reasons, this is the biggest fight of my career,” the 26-year-old Puelles said. “It’s a huge map, I have this really good opportunity to be on a main map, and I’m very happy, but I put in so much work that everything I get I think is earned. I moved my life to the United States, and I worked so hard every day that I feel like I have to fight the best, and this is a good opportunity to start, fight a guy who is ranked and has so many wars in the UFC. Everybody knows him, so that’s a great name for me and a great fight.
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That ranked guy is New Zealand veteran Dan Hooker, and he’s clearly a step up for Puelles, but just because it’s a step up doesn’t mean the Lima native is intimidated. Quite the contrary, as his work with the Kill Cliff FC team in South Florida and a five-game winning streak make him more confident than ever that this is where he belongs – in MSG on a main card at the card fighting one of the best lightweights in the world.
“I don’t care where it is, but if they give me something nice like that, sure, that’s better,” he laughs. “They gave me UFC APEX for my last three fights, and I was glad I had good fights, I won my fights and that’s great. But it’s an added factor if they give you a fight in MSG on a huge pay-per-view map, so why not? »
Happy, grateful, but unwavering. I ask Puelles if he has always been so serious.