“I feel this is my time,” says Scottish MMA fighter Chris Duncan as he vows to grasp his chance to secure a UFC place.
Duncan, 28, has been selected to compete in Dana White’s Contender Series this month and will fight fellow lightweight Manuel Gaxhja in Las Vegas.
Over the past five years, a number of contenders have been handed contracts after impressing in the series, which is run by UFC president White.
“It is like an apprenticeship,” Duncan told BBC Scotland.
“These prospects go in, I am going to be his employee of the month, I am just looking forward to showing those guys I am ready for the top tier.
“I am just built for this, I am just made for the peer pressure, I am made for the UFC, I am made for fighting; it is just in my blood, it is in my genetics.”
Duncan says getting into the UFC would be “like signing for your favourite football team”.
“If I win my fight it doesn’t guarantee me a contract,” he explained. “If I put on a good performance and dominate my opponent and they see a lot of skill and something they can push, at the end of the day it is entertainment.
“They are looking to be able to build you as a fighter and make you a better fighter as well so they take all of this into consideration.”
‘I don’t see why I couldn’t get the contract’
Duncan, who recently left the Bellator promotion, boasts a perfect professional record of seven wins from his seven fights.
And he is promising to put on “a spectacular performance” as he looks to one day become Scotland’s first UFC champion.
“That has actually given me goosebumps on the back of my neck,” he said. “I have got people that I barely even know and they are messaging me saying, ‘first Scottish UFC champion’.
“If I do everything that I possibly can and leave no stone unturned, I don’t see why I couldn’t get the contract and everybody looking from an outside perspective will see that if I don’t get this contract then it just wasn’t meant to be.”
The global Covid-19 pandemic has meant Duncan has been unable to compete for 11 months.
“When I didn’t have MMA, I needed to find something else so I tended to find myself in bad situations,” he added. “I would be fighting, drinking, doing stupid stuff and putting myself in stupid situations.
“So I said to my girlfriend Laura, ‘since I started MMA, I have never been in trouble with the police I haven’t even got a speeding fine’.
“This isn’t just for money, this keeps me driven.”