Lance Palmer has long been considered an elite featherweight but he hopes to close out 2018 with a career defining win.
On Monday night, Palmer faces Steven Siler in the finals of the first season of the Professional Fighters League with the winner taking home $1 million dollars. Obviously the money will be nice but Palmer says the accomplishments he’s put together this year have truly made him feel like he’s the best he’s ever been.
“I think that has a lot to do with how active I’ve been this whole year,” Palmer said when speaking to MMAWeekly. “I come from a wrestling background that thrives on momentum and having a short memory and being able to get in there and compete more regularly is just better for me. I’m so used to that my entire life. It’s been a great year and I feel like this is right now the peak of my career because it’s the first time I’ll be able to make this financial gain like I’ve never made before.
“I’ve already made more this year than any other year in my pro career and I’m not even through the finals yet. So it’s been a good year.”
Perhaps the biggest win of 2018 — not financially speaking — was Palmer avenging the most recent loss of his career to Andre Harrison.
The former World Series of Fighting and Titan Fighting champion was undefeated going into the featherweight division this season but he tasted defeat for the first time in his rematch with Palmer back in October.
“For him to win in that quarterfinal fight and then a chance for me to avenge my loss, that was great,” Palmer said. “I was honestly happy to fight him before the finals because I can kind of get that fight out of the way and now look onto the next one, which is Siler.”
Palmer will be a massive favorite in his fight on New Year’s Eve not only because of the record he’s put together in his career but also because he already holds a win over Siler in late 2017.
With $1 million on the line, Palmer is obviously not looking past Siler so he expects a battle but he also anticipates a dominant win.
“Regardless of what happened the last fight with almost finishing him in the first and almost getting a rear naked choke in the third, we fought that fight in a cigar bar basically, it was so smoky in there. The circumstances for that fight were pretty crazy,” Palmer said.
“Now that we’re at this point where it’s higher stakes, it’s for a title and we know each other very well. I’m really excited to fight this kid.”
While Palmer has done some impressive things during his career, capping off his year with this grand prize and another featherweight title to add to his resume would be huge.
Palmer has thrived while working with a new team in Las Vegas and getting his sixth win in a row overall will undoubtedly put the entire featherweight division — in every promotion — on notice.
“My mentality right now is I’m the best featherweight in the world,” Palmer explained. “I couldn’t deny myself the thought of that after this season and hopefully being the PFL 1 champ. The road that we’ve had to go through to get here is insane. It puts you in a lot of adversity and to be where I’m at in the finals, it’s kind of a breath of fresh air. I’ve been healthy, I’ve been able to get through those first four fights and be injury free.
“Now I’m at the point where I’m fighting for this title against a guy who I know is tough but who I know I can beat. I do feel like I’m the best featherweight in the world.”