Amir Albazi: I hope UFC Fight Night 216 showed ‘I’m ready for the top five, I’m ready for that belt’

LAS VEGAS – Amir Albazi thinks he proved a point Saturday in Las Vegas.

At UFC Fight Night 216, Albazi (16-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) picked up his first TKO win in seven years when he finished promotional newcomer Alessandro Costa (12-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with a slick uppercut and follow-up punches at the UFC Apex.

After the fight, Albazi hammered home that he’s not playing around. He considers himself ready for the elite of the elite at 125 pounds.

“I wanted to come here to show not the same Amir,” Albazi told MMA Junkie and other reporters at a post-fight news conference. “I’ve already submitted two blackbelts before, so I wanted to put on a really good performance to show I’m a different level than these guys and that I’m ready for the top five. I’m ready for that belt. I hope you guys saw that. I hope you saw that I have knockout power, too. I can put people to sleep standing up, and I can put people to sleep on the ground. Just keep them coming, and I’ll keep taking them out.”


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Albazi, 29, has yet to lose in the UFC with three finishes in four victories. He’s struggled to find opponents, but adversity is familiar. He detailed his backstory as he bounced from country to country as a teenager. His life has constantly been filled with uncertainty. That’s why he likes his chances if he takes a step up in competition.

“I would say being comfortable (is the biggest issue for fighters),” Albazi said. “A lot of people are comfortable where they are. I’ve never been comfortable. I fled Iraq when I was the age of 7. In the middle of the night, I went to Syria. I haven’t seen my father. From Syria, I went to Sweden at the age of 8. In Sweden, I lived alone as a teenager at 15 years old. I lived completely alone up to the age of 18.

“When I turned 18, I moved to London for 10 years. Same thing. New country. I couldn’t speak the language. No friends. I kept fighting, kept trying, got into the UFC, and now I’m in Vegas. This is another step on the way. For me, it’s nothing new. I’ve always been uncomfortable. I thrive there.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 216.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie