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Rising UFC Star Payton Talbott Gaining Recognition Inside and Outside the Octagon

Payton Talbott
Black Belt Plus

Just two fights into his UFC career, Payton Talbott is already feeling the effects of his success in the world's premier mixed martial arts organization.

“Every time I go out now, I get recognized, which is kind of new,” says the 25-year-old bantamweight prospect, who will compete against Yanis Ghemmouri at UFC 303 prelims this Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. Previously unnoticed in his hometown of Reno, Nevada, Talbott is now frequently approached by fans excited to share space with him.

Even skateboarding legend Tony Hawk has taken notice of Talbott. Recently, Talbott had the opportunity to skate with Hawk, a moment he describes as a dream come true, especially since they connected through mutual friends.

On the professional front, Talbott’s recent victories include a notable second-round stoppage win over Cameron Saaiman in March, elevating his record to an impressive 8-0. His dedication to the sport and mental toughness, likened to the persistence needed in skateboarding, are qualities that continue to shape his fighting career.

Despite the rising fame, Talbott remains focused on the sport's pure essence, avoiding distractions from the recognition he now commands. His next fight at UFC 303, originally meant to be on a card headlined by Conor McGregor, still holds significant importance for him, even though McGregor is no longer part of the event.

As Talbott prepares to compete in front of a live audience for the first time, he views it as a pivotal moment in his career, one that could define his future trajectory in the UFC. With his sights set on breaking into the Top 15 rankings soon, Talbott is eager to face more challenging opponents and prove his mettle among the best in the division.

Catch all the action at UFC 303: Pereira vs. Procházka 2, live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prelims start at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, followed by the main event on PPV at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.

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