Ricky Palacios is facing perhaps his greatest challenge yet.

This Thursday night (April 20), Palacios will step inside the Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona. There he’ll take on former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Roman Salazar. Palacios goes into the bout with a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record of 7-1, while Salazar holds a record of 10-5, 1 NC.

Speaking with MMANews.com‘s very own Tim Thompson, Palacios said he doesn’t feel the pressure of headlining Combate 13:

“NO, IT NEVER WEIGHS ON ME. I’M A FIGHTER, I GO IN THERE AND FIGHT. I DON’T REALLY CARE MUCH OF OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINION. WHEN I’M IN THE CAGE, I REALLY DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THE FANS ARE LOOKING AT. I’M HERE TO DO MY JOB AND I LOVE TO FIGHT. I GIVE IT 100 PERCENT IN THERE AND PEOPLE LOVE THE WAY I FIGHT. SO I DON’T HAVE TO REALLY DO ANYTHING FOR THE FANS BECAUSE THEY ALREADY LOVE MY STYLE.”

Palacios recognizes the threat that Salazar presents. “El Gallero” anticipates a stern test for both himself and his opponent:

“(HE’S) REAL TOUGH. HE’S A GAME OPPONENT, GOOD ALL AROUND FIGHTER. HE’S FOUGHT FOR THE NUMBER ONE PROMOTION IN THE WORLD, UFC. I’M EXPECTING NOTHING BUT THE BEST. I’M EXPECTING HIM TO TRY TO KNOCK ME OUT, TRY TO SUBMIT ME. BUT I’M TRAINING PRETTY HARD FOR THIS FIGHT, SO IT’S GONNA BE A TOUGH FIGHT FOR BOTH OF US.”

You can listen to the full interview below:

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