By Ray Hamill — Louis Cosce arrived in Las Vegas on Monday ahead of this weekend’s big UFC showdown, and is relaxed and confident, according to trainer Brian Wilson.
“Louis doesn’t get nervous,” Wilson said. “He’s just very mellow, very calm and relaxed, and he’s definitely enjoying the moment.”
The 25-year-old former Hoopa High wrestler will become the first ever Humboldt County native to fight at a UFC event when he takes on Hong Kong’s Sasha Palatnikov on Saturday afternoon.
Cosce’s fight is scheduled to get the day’s action under way at 3:30 p.m.
And Wilson says final preparations have been going smoothly, with the fighter and his trainers quarantined in a hotel suite.
“We have two training sessions a day,” Wilson said. “Nothing real heavy, just kind of light workouts ad talking tactics for the fight.”
Cosce also has been taking care of UFC promotional duties each day in the lead-up to the fight and will have his official weigh-in on Friday.
And both trainer and fighter are confident heading into the historic showdown.
“He’s never been better,” Wilson said. “I know I’ve said that before, but Louis is at a point in his career where he’s ascending. Every practice he’s stronger in every way.”
Cosce, who fights out of the Lost Boys gym in Arcata, has won all seven of his pro fights in the first round and will be eyeing a repeat performance against Palatnikov.
“I’m going to look to knock him out,” he said. “I do it to them before they do it to me.”
As for a prediction?
“I think we’re going to finish the fight no later than the second round,” Wilson said. “I expect a first-round finish, but we’re not going to force it.”
Palatnikov is 5-2 as a pro and is the first fighter from Hong Kong to appear at a UFC event.
“He’s a talented striker, he’s taller and he’s athletic,” Wilson said. “But that being said, Louis is prepared and we believe he’s better everywhere.”
And ready to represent Humboldt County in the UFC.
“He’s happy to be here, but he’s definitely ready to put on a show,” Wilson said.