Heading into the 2019 PFL playoffs, featherweight Lance Palmer was in advantageous position having been through the two fights in one night format in the 2018 season.
Knowing how to approach multiple fights, Palmer was able to put together two solid performances versus Alexandre de Almeida and then Alex Gilpin to earn his spot in the 2019 season finals, where he looks to repeat as PFL champion.
“It was one of those things that I prepared for last year and went through last year, so it was cool to be able to do it again and be successful with it,” Palmer told MMAWeekly.com. “I feel like I performed well, especially in my semi-final fight versus Gilpin. Aside from not getting the finish, I did everything in that fight I wanted to do. I was happy with my performance overall.”
While Palmer has been able to replicate the success he had in the 2018 season in 2019 so far, he does note that there’s a bit of a difference this time around compared to last year.
“I’ve made huge differences from (the start of training camp in) March until now, and the biggest difference between 2018 and 2019 after each fight I feel like I’m improving and getting more dangerous,” said Palmer. “That’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, and I feel like I’m at a point where I’m doing that each fight.”
On December 31 in New York City, New York, Palmer (21-3) will look to make it back-to-back championships when he faces Gilpin (14-3) for the third time this year, this time in the featherweight main card title match at PFL 2019 World Championships.
“You definitely approach it as a new fight, but you take little things from each fight that work, things that didn’t work; things they brought that they maybe tried to surprise you with, or new things they’re trying to bring,” Palmer said. “It’s going to be little things; if they make the right adjustments or I make the right adjustments you may see a whole different fight.
“The goal is to always go out and get the finish. Gilpin is very durable and he can definitely take a punch. He likes being in the grind of the fight, and that’s something I’m prepared for; going all five rounds or getting the finish; I’m definitely prepared to do anything if I have to.”
While the opportunity to take the seasonal title and earn a million dollar paycheck for a third time in 2020 would be motivation enough for most people, Palmer feels there are more things to aspire to in the future.
“I think it’s just continuing to keep competing at the highest level that I can and bringing the best version of myself,” said Palmer. “It’s not about being motivated by money or belts or championships, it’s about being motivated by getting better every fight and bringing a better version of myself every fight.
“I feel like I’m doing that this year, and that’s something that’s really been great for me, so I’m just excited to do that every time I fight and hope I continue to do that every fight.”