Dana White’s message for rising Aussie UFC star Tom Nolan

Dana White’s message for rising Aussie UFC star Tom Nolan
  • PublishedDecember 6, 2023

Toowoomba’s Tom Nolan is officially booked to make his UFC debut on January 13 (January 14 in Australia) in Las Vegas on the very first card of 2024.

The 23-year-old earned his UFC call-up with a stunning first round knockout of Bogdan Grad on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) in August, and after months of waiting to lock in an opponent, can finally start preparing to face Nikolas Motta (13-5).

Nolan’s DWCS knockout win was the highlight of the night in August, with an ecstatic White raving about him as a “straight killer.”

Nolan pummelled a lippy Bogdan Grad on DWCS in August. Picture: Al Powers/Zuffa LLC

Nolan pummelled a lippy Bogdan Grad on DWCS in August. Picture: Al Powers/Zuffa LLC

“We shook hands briefly and I remember him saying, ‘It doesn’t matter what you’ve done to get here, it matters what you do once you do get here, and you performed’,” Nolan tells this masthead. “That was pretty cool.

“Everyone’s working so hard to get here, but he’s 100 percent right, if you can’t rise to the occasion, then beat it – go do something else.”

The win was even sweeter after Grad had relentlessly harassed him on social media in the build-up.

“I felt super comfortable. I remember I was warming up, and I expected to feel a lot more nervous and for it to be a lot more intimidating, but it wasn’t.

“I just remember thinking, ‘This is my night, I’m going to smash this guy, make it look easy and I’m gonna steal the show’.”

A former Toowoomba Clydesdale lock and centre, Nolan initially wanted to play in the NRL, but became fed up with the “politics of rugby league.

“But there’s a lot of dad’s sons who get to be on the team, and people who know people.

“But in fighting, if I lose, it’s on me. I can’t blame anyone else. And I if win, that’s on me too. I reap the rewards.”

Now six fights into his professional career, Nolan is planning on big things over the next two years.

“I see myself knocking out three or four dudes next year, then fighting a ranked guy in 2025,” he says. “Then I see myself tearing through those dudes until I get to the top.”

SOURCE: NEWS.COM

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