"Being out is such a hard thing. Fighting is my life. I've done it since I've been a kid. So to have 19 months off is a long time. I just want to get back in there on Saturday night. I'm proving to all the fans that I'm back, and I want to come back with a bang," Etim said.
Etim (14-3) has been sidelined for nearly two years as he recovered from a rib injury, which also forced him out of his bout with Joe Lauzon at UFC 118. Etim's last bout in the Octagon was a submission defeat to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 112. That loss also snapped a four fight win streak that included two Submission of the Night worthy performances.
"I think that was the hardest thing because it was coming off a loss, as well. Before that, I was coming off four consecutive wins. If I would have gotten injured after four wins, it wouldn't have been as bad as it is coming off of a loss...I've been dying to get back in there and try to redeem myself," Etim said.
In his return, Etim faces Edward Faaloloto (2-2). Etim is a six to one favorite over Faaloloto and Faaloloto will need to overcome those odds if he wishes to remain in the UFC, losing consecutive bouts to Michael Johnson and Anthony Njokuani.
"I'm not going to take him lightly, but I'm definitely comfortable that when Saturday night comes, there's only going to be one winner: me," Etim said.
UFC 138 on November 5, 2011 at LG Arena in Birmingham, England will be spearheaded by the UFC's first five round non-title fight between Chris Leben taking on Mark Munoz. Etim vs. Faaloloto will fight on the main card.