Tom Nolan Details Facing Internal Pressure Prior to Earning First UFC Victory

UFC
May 20, 2024
Tom Nolan revealed that his UFC Fight Night 241 win over Victor Martinez was a really crucial one.

Nolan earned his UFC contract with a knockout win over Bodgan Grad on Dana White's Contender Series last year — his sixth straight victory. The then undefeated prospect was massive favorite going into his UFC debut against Nikolas Motta this past February. However, “Big Train” went on to suffer his first career loss via first-round TKO.

Nolan admits that he had let some of the hype around him get to his head going into his UFC debut, and he felt pressure to make quick work of his opponent in dominant fashion.

“Different pressure to last time,” Nolan said in a post-fight media scrum. “Last time the pressure was, ‘Oh you’ve gotta finish this guy in 10 seconds, you’re so much better, so much better.’ And to be honest, I’ve never been dropped, I’ve never been knocked out, I’ve never even really been hurt, I’ve never been cut, nothing. So at my own fault, I kind of bought into that hype a little bit. Went in there thinking, ‘You know what, I should be able to do this very quickly.’ And I learned a valuable lesson.”

Nolan bounced back with a TKO win against Martinez, finishing his foe with a knee to the body and follow-up punches on Saturday night. His foiled UFC debut had vastly changed things for Nolan going into his sophomore promotional outing. While Nolan was once again a heavy betting favorite, the Australian was more concerned about saving his job this time. Having expected a performance bonus and being left with only show money for his UFC debut, Nolan revealed that he would be back to working regular jobs if he didn’t get a win against Martinez.

“Going in the pressure was different [this time],” he said. “I didn’t really care about the odds or what people were saying. Everyone was saying the same stuff this time: ‘Oh you gonna beat this guy, easy first round knockout, easy easy easy.’ I’m watching his fights and he’s knocking people out all the time. He’s got eight knockouts. It’s never gonna be an easy fight. So the pressure for me was more. I’m only young, I’ve only got a little bit of money. I expected to win my last one and get a bonus and instead I lost, so now I get no money. Now I’ve got to live off that til my next fight. So if I had a loss tonight, I’m back working somewhere and living the life that I’m not meant to be living. So the pressure was really internal this time and I dealt well with it.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Tom-Nolan-Details-Facing-Internal-Pressure-Prior-to-Earning-First-UFC-Victory-193753

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