Shane Young (Ngāti Kahungunu) suffered the first knockout loss of his career when he fought in the octagon at UFC 253 in September last year. Despite that, the Maraenui born and bred warrior is looking ahead to UFC 260 this Sunday, when he dons the gloves again against Venezuelan Omar Morales.
This upcoming bout even has UFC President Dana White calling it a fight to watch.
"If you don't know, now you know." Dana dubs Shane's fight as one to watch. Source: Instagram/Dana White
Young was knocked out in 76 seconds in Abu Dhabi by Slovakian L'udovit Klein - who replaced his original opponent after he tested positive for Covid-19, back in September. Despite the career setback, Young is jumping straight back into the deep end against an opponent with an impressive 10-1 record, of which seven of those wins have come via finish.
In an interview with UFC.com Young paid respect to his opponent. “I don’t know him from a bar of soap, but I’ve seen his fights, and I’m keen to get in there and bang it out; I’m sure we’re going to spend a lot of time on the feet. I know I have skills that haven’t been shown to him in the UFC yet and some things that I do well that have been against him (and) he didn’t do too well against, so I’m going to look to exploit those things and just flow with it.”
It's also been a rough road to get to Las Vegas, as fellow City Kickboxing teammates lightweight Brad Riddell and featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski have been pulled from their respective fights due to the UFC's Covid-19 protocols.
Volkanovski gives a message to his fans. Source: Instagram/alexvolkanovski
Despite this and multiple sources saying that his fight was also off for the same reason, Shane confirmed that his bout is still very much on.
Shane Young's fight is still on this weekend. Source: YouTube.com/Its Time For Sports
In an interview with It's Time For Sports, Shane says, "The fight is still on, I tested negative [for Covid-19] yesterday, I'll be getting another test on Friday [Las Vegas time], which will come up negative, and then get the fight done."
Young also says that with Brad and Alex's situation, it's been distracting from the fight but doesn't blame anyone for it happening.
"At the end of the day we chose to come here and we knew the risk we were taking. It's just Covid I guess."
No matter what has been going on in the background, Young is still all about positive vibes.
"Physically I feel phenomenal. It's very true. I feel amazing as well, just reminding myself to channel my ancestors."
And once the cage door closes and their bout begins, Shane is expecting Omar Morales and he will put on a show for everyone.
"I just expect him to come out as a high-calibre professional fighter just like myself and we're gonna put on a show for everyone back home and try to further my life, and move forward.
"I don't care about what Omar is doing but I'm going out there to leave it all out there."
Shane's fight can be seen on the UFC Fight Pass prelims on Sunday, March 28.