One look at the Instagram page of “The Tarantula,” and you’ll see a young man taking advantage of everything life has to offer. And he’s not about to start changing that philosophy now.
“You only live once, you gotta make it fun,” said Turner, who has a different type of fun scheduled for this weekend in Las Vegas, as he faces Brad Riddell in a highly anticipated lightweight scrap many believe can steal the show from the UFC 276 headliners. But when it’s not time to work in the gym or Octagon, Turner is learning that his precious free time is meant to be spent enjoying time with his two kids and in passions far removed from his day job.
“Especially after being on lockdown during the whole COVID situation and being stuck in the house, it was hard,” Turner said. “I was itching to go outside and do everything I could. I don’t want to be tied up and just work all day, 24-7 in the gym. I’ve done it for 10 years already, so I try to do things that are gonna give me a little bit of passion, of drive, of fun, that’s gonna give me a thrill, and I can still learn something that can advance my life in some way, shape or form. That’s how I look at things, and everything I do, I feel like it’s fun and it’s something I love and have a good passion for.”
His passion for fighting has led him to the brink of the Top 15 at 155 pounds, and should he beat Riddell this weekend, he could take the New Zealander’s No.14 spot. That would also make it five consecutive wins for the Californian, who has finished Josh Culibao, Brok Weaver, Uros Medic and Jamie Mullarkey in succession since a 2019 loss to Matt Frevola that changed his whole outlook on his career.
“I told myself after my last loss that I need to take this seriously,” he said. “I got kids, I see time going by, and I had a physical clock of time in my face, and I’m like, it’s now or never. I put that in my mind and that’s a testament to this win streak.”