Mixed Martial Arts veteran Siyar Bahadurzada will finally make his long-awaited UFC debut, facing the tough-as-nails Paulo Thiago on the main card of UFC on Fuel TV 2 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Nicknamed "The Killer", Bahadurzada is currently 20-4-1 in his MMA campaign, with 10 KO/TKO and 6 Submission victories. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Siyar Bahadurzada held numerous MMA titles, such as the Shooto Light Heavyweight title and Golden Glory's United Glory Welterweight Tournament title. Bahadurzada will begin a new journey against top UFC Welterweight in Paulo Thiago, looking to prove he belongs inside the Octagon.
In what was the biggest victory of his MMA career, Siyar Bahadurzada needed less than two minutes to destroy the UFC and WEC veteran John Alessio. It's important to note that Alessio is currently on a 10-1 run in his career, losing only to "The Killer".
I had an opportunity to interview Siyar Bahadurzada in Utrecht, the Netherlands, approximately one month before "The Killer" decided to leave Team Golden Glory. Bahadurzada shared thoughts about his fight with Paulo Thiago, and much more.
Feel free to follow Siyar Bahadurzada on Twitter @SiyarTheKiller.
You have a big fight with Paulo Thiago in March. How is your training going?
I've injured my hand a few weeks ago (NOTE: I interviewed Siyar Bahadurzada on January 10th), but it doesn't really matter. I still train my kicks, my knees, and my elbows. Hopefully in couple of weeks I will be able to train in full capacity once again.
But, one way or another, you will be fully fit for this fight?
100-percent. I will be 100-percent for this fight, no question about it.
And it's a long time coming for you, obviously. You've been scheduled to make your UFC/Strikeforce debut for quite some time, and now you are finally making it. Are you excited? Do you feel like this is your time to finally prove yourself?
Oh man, I'm very excited! I've been waiting for this for a long time, and finally I get to fight in the UFC. And I get to fight Paulo Thiago, who is a great fighter, and a good striker. If you fight against fighters who want to fight, that's great for you, that's great for the fans, and that's great for the division. I'm happy that I am fighting Paulo Thiago, because he's a guy who wants to fight, and I want to fight, so nobody will stall the fight. It will be an action packed fight.
Paul Thiago is a veteran and has many fights in the UFC. Do you feel that his experience might be some sort of advantage in his favor on April 14th?
Man, I've been fighting since 2001! If we're talking about experience here, then I'm a more experienced fighter than he is. But, he has, maybe, more octagon experience, which doesn't matter to me because in a fight, it doesn't matter. You don't stand, all of the time, against the cage. I've trained against the cage in America a lot of times, but I don't think that will be a factor, not at all. I think, personally, that I'm the more experienced fighter here.
Another aspect of Paul Thiago's game is that he's a decorated grappler. He's very good on the ground. Obviously, at Golden Glory you have Marloes Coenen and Jon Olav Einemo, who are great BJJ artists as well. Do you think you might surprise him on the ground and walk away with a submission victory?
No, I don't like to submit people. I like to knock people out. Even if I get a submission, I will not go for it. I have done it in the past, I have six submissions, but in my last fight, I had him in a submission and let it go in order to knock the guy out. So, I'll go for the knockout. I don't think I'll finish anybody, from now on, with a submission. I'll just go for the knockout. I love to knock people out. I train hard, I earn the knockout, and in a fight, I always force myself to get the knockout.
Obviously, it's a great way to open up 2012. What are your goals for 2012 as a fighter, and where do you see yourself by the start of 2013?
In 2012, I will fight, hopefully, three to four times for the UFC and win all of my fights. In 2013, I want to be in the mix for the Welterweight title.
Your prediction for the fight?
Knockout, of course.