Coming off a loss to Matt Frevola at UFC 236 in April of 2019, lightweight Jalin Turner had no idea he would be out of action for nearly a year, but rather than be upset with it, he was able to use the time in a productive manner.
During his 10 months between fights, Turner was able to work on his game, and more importantly implement what he worked on in his return bout on February 22 at UFC on ESPN+ 26 in his second-round TKO win over Joshua Culibao.
“It felt fine,” Turner told MMAWeekly.com. “I feel like I performed well. It was my first time fighting in about 10 months.
“I got to showcase everything I pretty much worked on: my grappling skills and being comfortable on the ground as opposed to staying away from the ground like I do in most of my fights. I enjoyed my performance.”
Much of the things Turner added in training was a result of his match with Frevola and making sure that it wouldn’t be an issue for him in the future.
“A lot of it came out of the fight with Matt,” said Turner. “Usually when I’m fighting, I’m fighting a grappler, a wrestler, and my game plan is to stay off the ground and use striking because that’s where I usually beat people. This time I thought I need to be comfortable going to the ground, on top or on bottom.
“I feel like that confidence and that training helps a lot. I felt confident and comfortable anywhere this fight went, and that’s how it needs to feel.”
With his first fight of 2020 under his belt and a win to kick off the year, Turner wants to focus his efforts to continuing to move forward with his career and development one step at a time.
“Right now, I’m just focused on getting to the next path, getting to the next fight, getting the win,” Turner said.
“The overall goal is to get wins, stay consistent, and have fun with the sport and what I do. Yes, it’s a fight, but I feel I always have the most success in there when I have fun; just maintaining that mindset and growing and developing as a fighter as a whole.”