Winning $1 million in the first ever season of Professional Fighters League (PFL) didn’t make Lance Palmer satisfied but rather that much hungrier.
While it was obviously the most money he’s ever made during one sustained stretch of time during his entire career, the Ohio native didn’t look at the $1 million prize as a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Instead, Palmer took that money and started investing in himself.
He has a new landscaping business running in his adopted hometown of Columbus, OH and now Palmer has the financial freedom that will allow him to get the best possible training ahead of his return to action in the season 2 PFL tournament that kicks off later this year on ESPN.
“I’m at a point where I could fly coaches in and just have them here for a fight camp,” Palmer said about the benefits of winning that $1 million prize. “That might be something I do eventually if I don’t want to travel anymore and be away from my family. Right now I still travel and do my fight camps elsewhere and get the full fight camp experience.
“That was something I just started getting last year in Vegas, the full fight camp experience of being away from my wife and our dogs and my home for extended periods of time. It puts everything in perspective when you’re gone but it also helped me focus more because I never forgot why I was out there and why I was doing it. I didn’t take it for granted where I did in Sacramento where I could just get up and go train 10 minutes down the road.”
It’s been a long journey from Palmer’s earliest days training at Team Alpha Male after he left college where he was a four-time All American wrestler at The Ohio State University to where he’s at now after his $1 million payday.
“Obviously more than having all the money in the account, it was more the fact that it was a flashback to starting my MMA career and when I first moved out to California and I was mowing lawns and didn’t have much if any financial support out in Sacramento when I moved out there,” Palmer said. “I was kind of doing everything on my own. Training and trying to give private lessons and trying to make my money that way.
“All the way to the point where I made over a million dollars in 2018. Two extremes — the spring of 2011 when I moved out to start training with [Team Alpha Male] to the point where I’m at now, having the best part of my career.”
As he prepares for the second season of the PFL to kick off later this year, Palmer is back at home in Ohio readying himself for the next tournament where he hopes to cash another hefty paycheck.
For his last training camp, Palmer spent his time in Las Vegas working out of the UFC Performance Institute while teaming up with longtime friends such as Joseph Benavidez to help him get ready for several fights over a short span of time.
For PFL season 2, Palmer is switching things up slightly with plans to visit the team headed up by coaches Mark Henry and Ricardo Almeida in New Jersey to see if that might be a good fit for his future.
“I’m actually going to go train in New Jersey with Frankie Edgar’s team in the next week or two,” Palmer revealed. “I’m going to go check that out. Obviously, it’s a little closer than Las Vegas. I love the guys in Las Vegas but when it comes to being with family and stuff like that, they understand because those guys all have kids and I want to be closer to home. I’m getting closer to that point where I’m going to start having kids soon so I’ve got to change things up for that as well.
“It’s kind of like a trial run to see how I like it out there. You’ve got to get along with people, you’ve got to mesh well with the coaches, those are the people who have your back when you go to war so it can’t just be anybody. It’s got to be people I feel really comfortable with.”
Nothing is set in stone yet regarding his training camp but that’s the best part about having the kind of financial stability that winning $1 million grants him.
He knows he’ll need to be at his best because Palmer will have a big target on his back for PFL season 2 and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m anticipating having the top four guys from last year back but having eight other guys as well, eight new faces, will be something that’s good for PFL and good for me to just get other guys who are top level guys,” Palmer said.
“Potentially some ex-UFC guys, ex-Bellator guys, to kind of broaden the spectrum a little bit and give people a sense of where I stand.”