After years of fighting professionally around the world, Christchurch’s Brad Riddell will make his Octagon debut this weekend at UFC 243 in Melbourne.
Riddell is another member of the rapidly growing City Kickboxing gym featuring top stars like Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker, and Alex Volkanovski.
Consistently training with these top-level fighters and “more than holding his own,” Riddell is confident going into his UFC debut.
“I’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence training with these guys,” Riddell told EMG Access. “I do more than hold my own, so I’m very confident going into this.
Riddell is relishing the opportunity to fight on a card headlined by his teammates.
“It’s once in a lifetime because it’s my mate, my training partner for the last 8 years, he’s the drawcard and then my other mate is the co-main event and I get to start the wave.”
Following the road of his friend, teammate and former kickboxer Israel Adesanya, Riddell has prepared to make sure he’s completely ready before stepping into the UFC.
“I maybe could have made the UFC a bit earlier, but I wanted to be comfortable with everything so when I go in there there’s no worry about someone taking me down. That’s why Israel has had so much success because he is so hard to take down he can strike to his full ability and these people are struggling with him, and I feel like in my division they’re going to struggle with me too.”
Despite facing the “hometown guy,” Riddell is confident he can get the win.
“I’m comfortable with Melbourne, I’ve fought there a heap, I’ve got a good fanbase there. I’m fighting the home town guy, but it doesn’t matter, he’s just a guy with 2 arms and 2 legs.
“I’m going to make a $50,000 statement, that’s what I want to do. I just want to go in there and perform and just starch this guy and just let everyone know that I’m here.”
Although Riddell is known for his kickboxing past, he and his team are confident in his ability to show his ‘all-round game’.
“A complete fighter is what I’m going to demonstrate. I can wrestle, I can strike, I can box, I can put it all together. That’s why I’ve spent so much time in the gym.”
Brad Riddell makes his UFC debut against Australian debutant Jamie Mullarkey this Sunday, October 6 at UFC 243 Whittaker vs Adesanya in Melbourne.