Randy Costa will make his second-career walk into a UFC octagon Friday night when he fights Boston Salmon at UFC Fight Night Boston at TD Garden.

That walk will be a special one, not only because the Taunton, Mass., native is fighting in his home arena, but because he’ll be honoring his late friend Devin Carrier in front of his family and making a pipe dream become a reality.

Costa lost his best friend Carrier in a car crash three years ago and the UFC bantamweight carries around a picture of his late friend everywhere he goes during fight week. Costa held Carrier’s photo during ceremonial weigh-ins on Thursday night and also during media day, when he elaborated on their friendship.

“Devin and I were great friends, not only in the gym but also outside the gym,” Costa said.

Costa had a four-year layoff between his last amateur fight in 2014 and his first professional fight in 2018 and before his death, Carrier constantly pressured Costa to take another fight. Following his death in 2016, Costa felt like he owed it to Carrier to take on one more fight, and after four straight knockout wins in the Cage Titans promotion, he eventually made it to the UFC.

“I’d be doing myself a disservice, but also his family a disservice if I didn’t take him every step of the way,” Costa said while showing Carrier’s picture.

Costa lost his UFC debut at UFC 236 to Brandon Davis in Atlanta, and while a victory will be sweet, Costa is looking at the bigger picture Friday night.

“It’s going to be something. Win or lose on Friday night I’m going to be happy that I’ll be able to hold his picture with pride and look at his family and say, ‘We made it. We made it.'”

Thumbnail photo via Randy Costa speaks to the media