Gabriel Green will be making his UFC debut on Saturday, but five days ago, he wasn’t even on the roster.

At UFC on ESPN 9, Green (9-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will make the walk to the promotion’s cage for the first time, when he takes on UFC sophomore Daniel Rodriguez (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in a welterweight bout.

Green hasn’t competed since August 2018, spending the better half of two years struggling with a reoccurring shoulder injury. In a bizarre twist of fate, a shoulder injury to Rodriguez’s originally scheduled opponent, Kevin Holland, is actually what paved the way for Green to enter the promotion.

“We heard that there was a possibility (Monday) night and that they were going to let us know by the end of the night or early morning,” Green told MMA Junkie on Tuesday. “I got a call at 4:30 in the morning that said, ‘We’re ready. We’re rolling out.’ So that was it. My coach came by. We all jumped in his truck and we took off to Vegas.”

“It definitely feels really good to be here. When I had my first fight, the only place I wanted to go was in the UFC. It feels really good to be there now.”

Though his opponent Rodriguez has only had one UFC fight, he isn’t an unfamiliar name to Green. In fact, Green had been lined up to fight Rodriguez outside the UFC after his most recent fight. However, a broken hand derailed those chances. Almost two years later, the bout will finally come to fruition.

“I was supposed to fight him back in 2018,” Green said. “I was supposed to fight him right after my last fight. When I broke my hand, I had to pull out of the fight with him. I was already pretty much scheduled. I watched film on him back then. I liked the matchup back then, and I thought it was going to be a fun fight. When they offered him right now, I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”

Saturday marks the first time UFC fans will be introduced to Green. For those who have never seen him fight, Green expects to put on a memorable performance.

“I bring fireworks,” Green said. “I’ve got nine wins, and they’re all finishes. I go out there and I try to finish. I usually do. I’ve only been to the third round once.

“I think it’s definitely not going the distance. I’m just going to take whatever he gives me.”

UFC on ESPN 9 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.