UFC fans around the world are in the home stretch of 2023 with only four events remaining in the calendar year. This has also traditionally been the part of the year where inactive fighters receive their contractually obligated offers for a fight.
If they accept, problem solved. If they decline, the UFC has met their obligation and they can look into the next year. It also makes for an interesting opportunity for up and coming talent.
Fighters recently added to the roster may find themselves in a position to step in against someone who has been inactive, someone who needs a fight to end their year, or someone the UFC may have lost faith in from a business perspective.
Dana White's Contender Series season 7 alum, Payton Talbott, finds himself in a position to capitalize in his UFC debut. Talbott makes his debut on a main card, against an opponent in Nick Aguirre, who lost his debut in January of 2023.
The Nevada native and member of the Choctaw Nation competed in multiple sports as a youth, including high school wrestling. It was not until after graduation that Talbott looked to MMA as an interest and walked into the Reno Academy of Combat, where he trains to this day.
Payton Talbott parlays contract with Urijah Faber's A1 Combat into DWCS spot and UFC contract
Once he decided to look to fighting as a career, Talbott fought twice for a small promotion before being picked up by Urijah Faber's A1 Combat. Talbott won three fights with A1 Combat and earned an opportunity on DWCS. Talbott seized the opportunity, breaking the DWCS bantamweight significant strike record on his way to defeating Reyes Cortez Jr. by unanimous decision.
Talbott enters his debut undefeated in his six professional fights. While Aguirre lost his debut to a skilled Dan Argueta, his previous level of competition does not seem to stack up well against Talbott's.
It is clear that Talbott has the ability to strike at a high pace for 15 minutes, but perhaps more relevant to his fight with Aguirre is Talbott's ability to wrestle. Argueta neutralized nearly all of Aguirre's offense by converting four takedowns into more than 10 minutes of control time.
The paths to victory for Talbott are clear and it should mean a successful debut. Aguirre's future is looking uncertain for 2024, should he find himself without a win in 2023.