After an damage pressured Kevin Holland out of UFC on ESPN 9, it didn’t take lengthy for Gabriel Inexperienced to fill that vacant slot.

Inexperienced will make his UFC debut on simply 5 days discover when he faces Daniel Rodriguez this Saturday on the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The 27-year-old has been so busy getting all the things ready for his bout contained in the hallowed octagon that he hasn’t had time to permit the information to sink in.

“I don’t assume it’s gonna settle in till after I get that dub,” Inexperienced instructed MMA Combating whereas showing on What the Heck. “The whole lot has simply been shifting very quick.”

The California native enters the evening using a formidable six-fight successful streak—which incorporates victories for Bellator and Combate Americas—in addition to a 100 p.c end fee. In truth, “Gifted” hasn’t seen a choice, win or lose, since his novice debut in November 2014.

Whereas the UFC debutante has been extraordinarily lively all through his profession, he hasn’t competed since capturing the CXF 160-pound catchweight title in August 2018. Inexperienced suffered a damaged hand within the combat and whereas the damage wanted to be repaired, he additionally found {that a} lingering shoulder damage from his soccer days was worse than he thought.

Coincidentally, following his second-round TKO win in his most up-to-date combat, Inexperienced already had his subsequent combat lined up for the California regional promotion however couldn’t compete resulting from his accidents. The opponent? None apart from Rodriguez which suggests there’s extra historical past than thriller heading into the largest combat of his profession.

“We’ve checked out some movies,” Inexperienced defined. “We noticed what he does. I used to be really alleged to combat him again in 2018 after I gained that belt however I broke my hand within the combat and it turned out my shoulder was much more tousled than I assumed it was. I needed to pull out of that one, however we had already checked out him some time again.

“He’s progressed as a fighter a little bit bit, however I’m simply glad to have the chance to combat within the first place. We might’ve taken anyone on at this level. It’s cool that it’s Daniel as a result of we already are a little bit extra acquainted with him than something. It’s virtually excellent, however we’re simply ensuring that I’m sharp as a substitute of worrying in regards to the opponent precisely.”

Rodriguez entered the UFC’s loaded welterweight division very like Inexperienced—on lower than every week’s discover—and picked up a second-round submission win over Tim Means at UFC Rio Rancho in February. “D-Rod” could have barely extra discover this time round, though he needed to take care of an opponent change lower than every week from the combat.

Like his opponent, Inexperienced appears to be simply fantastic with getting proper after it with no time to overthink.

“There are some sort of perks to it. It does really feel sort of good,” Inexperienced stated. “I’m somebody who works out quite a bit typically and I feel I am going into fights virtually overtrained generally. So the truth that a pandemic was occurring, I’m coaching rather less than I usually do as a result of I don’t have entry to an entire bunch of stuff.

“I feel, by default, it’s virtually inconceivable for me to be overtrained for this combat, which is an effective factor. And it positively feels good to simply go on the market, not have to fret about something mentally. It’s identical to, ‘All proper, we’re gonna go combat? I like to combat so let’s skip all the opposite stuff and simply get straight to combat week.”

“I’m simply glad to be right here greater than something. I simply need to combat.”

After almost two years out of motion, Inexperienced is able to present the world what he can do. One factor he ensures—very like most of his profession—is that this combat is not going to go a full 15-minutes on Saturday evening.

“Anticipate fireworks,” Inexperienced said. “I am going on the market, I do my factor. I’ve solely been the space one time and it was the worst feeling of my life standing there with my hand down able to see if it could be raised or not. It’s quite a bit higher feeling like your hand’s gonna get raised. After that, it was like, ‘Neglect this, I’m gonna get my hand raised each time.’

“I ain’t going to no choice. The judges can take a water break, rest room break, no matter. It positively ain’t going the space. I don’t know if it’s going to be a knockout, or a sub, I simply realize it’s not going all the best way.”