Fernando Padilla excited for historic Noche UFC event to show off his evolution

LAS VEGAS – Fernando Padilla knows there’s a chance you’re wondering what he’s doing on the main card of a UFC show.

After all, he’s only one fight into his UFC tenure, and there are fighters on the prelims with a lot more time in the company than him. But with the opportunity in front of him, he is planning on using the spotlight to show why he was in it to begin with.

“I’m excited to put a performance for you guys,” Padilla said at Wednesday’s Noche UFC media day in Las Vegas. “I’m going to show you guys why I deserve to be there. I know a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, why is he on the main card? Why is this?’ But hey: I’m going to show you guys.”

Padilla (15-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) takes on Kyle Nelson (14-5-1 MMA, 2-4-1 UFC) in a featherweight scrap to open the main card at Noche UFC, which takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegsa. The event streams on ESPN+.

The event isn’t a numbered pay-per-view, but it’s at T-Mobile Arena and a title fight with a Mexican champion atop the lineup. It’s a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexican Independence Day, and before the show even happens, there are calls for it to be an annual UFC event.

“History, brother – history in the making. I’m so, so, so, so happy to be able to have my name in this part of history,” Padilla said. “It’s the first one ever for Sept. 16 (and Mexican Independence Day and Hispanic Heritage Month). I’m excited to be there.

“When I came to the United States, it wasn’t just for myself. It wasn’t just for my family and for those of my friends or for those who train. I always carry Mexico with me. It’s a weight and a responsibility. Mexico is always with me. It’s something that we carry with this and we’re always going to represent no matter what happens. I will continue to represent Mexico forever.”

Check out Padilla’s full media day interview above.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Noche UFC.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie