Kauai’s Josh Quinlan (5-0) will make his official UFC debut this Saturday in Las Vegas.
The 29 year old welterweight will be featured on the preliminary card of UFC on ESPN 40, facing veteran Jason Witt (18-9).
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Quinlan earned his spot via Dana White’s Contender Series, where an impressive TKO performance earned him a contract with the organization. However, the victory was later turned into a no contest after he tested positive for a banned substance. The Waimea graduate was suspended nine months and fined $700 by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Immediately after learning of the violation, Quinlan took responsibility for his decision to take a banned substance and hopes he can set an example for others.
“I just want to be an example not just for my victories, not just an example of victories and people seeing that but an example of someone being honest or someone that takes responsibility for their actions,” Quinlan told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “I’m blessed with people around me that believe in me and see the real me that don’t judge me on one decision and for the people that see me and see that decision, I just want to say that grow from these situations and don’t let one situation define you. I’m not going to let even let this fight define me. I’m growing every day, I’m getting better. I’m looking to make this debut and become another solid name for Hawaii.”
Quinlan, who says he is grateful that the UFC kept his contract valid which has allowed him to live out his professional dreams, is eager to test himself against an opponent as experienced as Witt.
“He’s a game opponent and someone that will challenge me,” Quinlan said. “I trained hard for it, I’m excited. Of course it’s a little nerve-wracking but I’ve been pushing hard. I have a grateful heart and I have faith in the future and in the process. I have great people around me and great support from everyone in Hawaii.”
The UFC on ESPN 40 prelims are scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m HST on ESPN and will also stream on ESPN+.