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UFC Fight Night 82: White Returns

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

Alex White last stepped into the UFC octagon in December of 2014. In the spring of 2015, a rib injury forced White out of a bout with featherweight Mark Eddiva.

So for the bulk of 2015 White was Keyser Soze-like, poof. He's gone.

The 27-year-old who is 10-2 (1-2 in the UFC) wasn't at local shows, not posting shirtless training pics on Facebook and his Twitter feed consisted of mostly his thoughts on movies.

After I got hurt I kinda got real lazy, especially during the summer, White said. I had to step away to heal up and I stepped away too long. I got caught up in having fun but I'm back on track with the right mindset. I re-lit the fire under my butt. I've really been pushing it in the gym.

White steps back under the UFC lights in Las Vegas on Saturday when he faces Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 82.

Lobov has made a name for himself as of late. The Russian fighter who trains with UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor at Straight Blast Gym in Dublin is 11-11-1 after he dropped a unanimous decision against Ryan Hall at the TUF 22 finale on Dec. 11. But the Russian hammer did ratchet up three KO's on his way to the TUF finals.

When asked to describe Lobov, White could be speaking of himself.

He has heavy hands, can take a beating, and goes the distance, White said.

White will have a five-inch reach advantage and a sneaky submission game, that includes five submission wins, that often goes overlooked.

I think my reach will help, White said. And his ground is not good. I haven't really showcased my submission game, but it's there.

On the regional circuit, White was a fast-rising star. He started out 10-0 that included nine stoppages and a UFC-debut knockout win of Estevan Payan. After Payan, White suffered a knockout loss to Lucas Martins and a decision defeat to Clay Collard.

White still works part-time at McDonald's and picks up the odd job here and there. Joining him in Las Vegas will be Destruction MMA coach Joe Worden, Austin Knight and Darin Johnson.

White resumed his day-to-day at Destruction MMA to prep for Lobov.

I had a lot of live go's to get the rust off, White said. The first hard day back I was like, oh boy.

While White took his MMA sabbatical to recharge, he remains thankful for those who have stuck close and offered their support.

I really appreciate the support during the time off, White said. I'm ready to get in the win column. My coaches and teammates and supporters have re-inspired me.

White kicks off the UFC Fight Pass Prelims at 6PM CST.

Alex White photo courtesy of Jimmy Range Photography