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LAS VEGAS – Abdul Razak Alhassan got back on track with a spectacular, lightning-fast knockout of Alessio Di Chirico.
In the final prelim bout of UFC on ESPN 30, Alhassan (11-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) only needed 17 seconds to dispatch of his middleweight opponent and did it on the first strike he landed. The win meant a lot for the former welterweight, who believed his job could have been on the line as he entered the bout on a three-fight losing streak.
“I went into my last fight saying, ‘If I don’t win, this is it,'” Alhaassan said at the post-fight news conference. “My coaches and everyone around me told me, ‘Don’t think about the negative. Go in there and do what you gotta do. Do what you are good at doing. When you do what you are good at doing, the result will follow it.’ So that’s what I did.”
The result certainly followed, and he earned a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for his highlight-reel moment, as well.
Alhassan made a move to Colorado to prepare for this contest to elevate his cardio, which was a point of concern for him in the past. After training at altitude, he entered the fight against Di Chirico with full confidence in his ability to go 15 minutes if necessary, but he ended up only needing just over 15 seconds.
As far as what’s next, Antonio Braga Neto is a name that came to mind, who he was originally scheduled to fight at UFC on ESPN 29 and then again on Saturday.
“If you guys know me, I never call anyone out,” Alhassan started. “But, if I’m not saying I’m not upset a little bit at Braga, I’d be lying, because I trained three months for him and on the 21st, he backed out, and then on the 28th, he backed out. Of course, I don’t want to take it personally, but I’m upset a little bit. I’m not trying to call him out, but if I can smack him, I want to smack him.”
“I don’t hate him, I don’t dislike him, but he made me work three months for him and he didn’t show up.”
Watch the full post-fight press interview with Alhassan in the video above.