The UFC is in town for the first time on Saturday. Rafael Dos Anjos and Kevin Lee is the main event in a welterweight bout.
Perhaps the main event for the crowd will take place on the undercard, as a local fighter experienced the moment of a lifetime fighting in his hometown.
“Everyday for the past two weeks, I’ve been waking up feeling like Christmas is coming,” said Desmond Green.
Green, a UFC fighter and Rochester native, will live out a dream when he takes on Charles Jourdain this weekend.
“A dream is an understatement, it’s a fantasy,” said Green after a workout on Wednesday. “It’s Blue Cross. Thank God I’m here.”
Green graduated from Rush-Henrietta High School in 2007. A 3-sport athlete, Green excelled in wrestling, winning a state title his senior year. He went on to wrestle at the University of Buffalo before becomming an MMA fighter in 2012.
“Literally, my house is ten minutes from here,” said Green. “I knew I knew how to fight. I already knew how to wrestle, and I got heart, so I thought this is something I could do for a living.”
Desmond Green’s career has taken him all over the world. He says fighting in places like Brazil and Russia can be especially hard because he’s portrayed as the villain facing the hometown fighter. That won’t be the case when he steps into the octagon this weekend in Rochester.
“My whole life I wanted to represent my hometown, represent my family, and now I have a chance to do this on the largest stage,” said Green. “You better bet I’m going to take full advantage.”
It took seven years for Green to land a fight in his hometown. After Saturday night, he’s doing what any Rochesterian would do.
“Sunday, I’m hitting up Nick Tahou and Henrietta Hots,” said Green. “I showed my teammates a picture of a garbage plate and they’re like “Eww, what is that?” and I was like “I don’t wanna hear nothing until I take you guys to Nick Tahou, eat the Plate, and then you tell me how you like it. You cant look at it with your eyes. Don’t judge it until you try it.”
Words to live by.