Joshua Van relieved to make it to UFC on ESPN 58 fight week after several bout cancellations

It’s UFC on ESPN 58 and Joshua Van can’t help but feel a sense of relief that it’s finally here.

The UFC flyweight prospect has been wanting to get his second fight in for 2024, but has been unable to. After stopping Felipe Bunes in January, Van (10-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has been booked three different times and has seen all three bouts get canceled. He was supposed to fight Lucas Rocha in April, then Sumudaerji to get switched to Tatsuro Taira for UFC 302 in June.

It looks like the fourth time is the charm, as he’s fighting Tagir Ulanbekov (15-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) this Saturday in Las Vegas.

“I’m just excited that I get to fight,” Van told MMA Junkie. “The last couple of months have been canceled fights and stuff like that, or my opponents pull out or whatever. I’m just excited to be here in fight week, finally. I’m very, very excited.”

The 22-year-old Van admits it’s been tough to not be active and has felt frustrated throughout this process.

“Shout out to my coaches because there was a point in time I didn’t even want to train, man,” Van said. “It’s just because they kept canceling fights and sh*t like that, so shout out to my coaches for keeping me grinding every day.”

Ulanbekov is currently in the official top 15 rankings of the UFC’s flyweight division. Van is happy to be getting a notable opponent and expects a tough test on Saturday.

“He’s a tough fighter and a good wrestler,” Van said. “His striking is there, but his main thing is his wrestling. Come Fight Night, we’ll be ready for him.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 58.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie