Beat Justin Gaethje, Submission R2
“Thank you for these guys, these guys with me have been with my father for more than 10 years. All my team, AKA with coach Javier (Mendez), I love him so much, all my team. Today, I want to say, this was my last fight. No way am I going to come here without my father. It was first time, after what happened with my father, when UFC called me about Justin. I talked with my mother three days, she doesn’t want me to go and fight without my father. I promised her this was going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.
“I know only one thing I want from UFC, you guys have to be me on No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, because I deserve this. UFC undisputed, undefeated lightweight champion, 13-0, 13 in UFC, 29 in all pro MMA career. I think I deserve it. To all this UFC team, everybody around the world, this whole pandemic stuff, they are doing a great show. To Justin, thank you so much. Thank you, brother. I know you are a great man, I know how you take care of your people. I know a lot of things about of you, because of your parents, because one day, it’s going to happen something. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, you never know.
Today is my last fight here in UFC. It was my father’s dream. Dustin (Poirer) and Conor (McGregor) are going to fight in January, I choked them out, both of them. I’m not interested in this.”
Beat Jared Cannonier, decision R3
Pretty good. Happy it’s all over. Work is done, I’m heading home. Jared was tough, he’s so resilient.
I thought it was a very good fight. I had a very good game plan set out, me and my team have worked diligently for that and it worked flawlessly, I thought I controlled the entire fight.
Worked on a disciplined game plan and stuck to it. I knew I wouldn’t put him away so it was about hurting him as much as I could for the fight.
“I thought it played out like I thought it would. It’s a fight, we’re throwing punches, they’re going to land sometimes. He’s a tough guy, he was in it from the start to the end and it was a privilege to fight him. Honestly, it’s a blessing to be able to work in these crazy times, is amazing. How professional everything is, how professional the UFC have things set up, is amazing and I’m truly blessed.
“I’m not thinking about the next fight in the run-up to Christmas and my newborn baby. Then we’ll see what happens. I’ve been in this game a long time, I’ve fought some tough dudes. I’ve still got it.
Beat Walt Harris, TKO R2
“I Feel great. Happy to come back and win, Feel like I’m ready to come back and challenge the big guys now. I’m happy to win.
“There was no risk for me. He had a hollow defence. With the kick I felt I had touched him good and he went down so I knew I was on for the finish.
“I’m ready. I need to get home now. I need two to three months to prepare, but give me a name and I will be ready.”
Beat Jacob Malkoun, KO R1 (18 seconds)
I’m just trying to grasp it all, take it in, just happy to be here.
Me and my boxing coach were talking about it, but we were expecting three rounds.
Second fastest debut in middleweight history, but I’m going to Google and find out if it’s really the first.
I want to sit at the table with the killers, with the best. That’s UFC.
Beat Liliya Shakirova, Submission R2
I do not have the word to describe how I feel about being here. I love the beach, the Yas beach is absolutely gorgeous. I will definitely come again; I am even ready to fight every week here. Thanks Abu Dhabi.
“Why am I ranked at No.5? I’ve never been finished. I should be ranked at minimum No. 2 if not No. 1. I’ve been on a win streak and I’ve been pretty quiet. I’ve not had any easy fights. I could go on and on and I’m tired of being overlooked. It’s insane, it’s crazy. I’ve never missed weight and I’m on a four-fight win streak and not been given a title fight.
“I’m going to celebrate, fly back home and then I’m going to go talk to the UFC and see what they want.
I don’t want to come out as having a bad attitude, because Dana’s done a lot for me, especially bringing us out here on Fight Island and keeping me on the main card against a newcomer. This week has been awesome.
“I don’t want to sit round and wait. I’m at the peak athletically, have a great team around me. In this game there’s a million things that could happen.”
Beat Ion Cuțelaba, KO R1
“Very happy to win. I have had a long training camp. Nothing personal, this is just sport. There was a premature end to the last fight, I wanted this, and it was just about getting it done.
“I knew what he was going to do.”
“People were waiting for this fight. There’s a lot of guys who I want to fight. Anyone in the top 5, if they want to fight me.
Beat Stefan Struve, KO R1
Beautiful place, credit to UFC and all the teams here for all the work and time they put here. I would love to come back here, I love this place. I feel safe, they test us regularly, and everything is clean and safe.
“That winning feeling is like a drug and it’s a while since I had my fix. Shoutout to my team. We’re in a sport that’s full of ups and downs and people are always looking to kick people when they are down.
“Stefan was big (7ft) but I’ve had a sparring partner for this, he was 6ft 8in. It was all about taking my time. I’m still learning this MMA stuff but this whole division better watch out.
“I just kept thinking ‘punch his body, and I might get to punch his head’. It is like chopping a tree.
“I knew that if I took my time it was going to come. I stuck to the plan for the first time.
“I knew my work ethic had to get better to be better.
“I feel good, I’ve put the work in so hopefully something shows. I’ve crossed my t’s and dotted my ‘i’s’ there was only one way this was going to go. I’m over the moon. I pumped.”
Beat Nathaniel Wood, Decision R3
“I’m my biggest critic. I think I could have done better, but it was a fun fight.
I like to stand and bang, I love to scrap. I’m a smart fighter I have a high fight IQ. He was shelling up a bit and then I was able to get the takedowns.
I came to get to ‘W’. I like to perform when the lights are on.
I’d like to one more in this year. Bantamweight title fight on the line on December 12. That’s enough time to get ready and get a camp in.”
“Mentally I’m bulletproof. This is all fun for me. I love fighting, this is my hobbie and I enjoy every moment.
“Fight Island has been great. Some jet skis, some beach time, some great food. Just hanging out and spreading that positive energy.”
Beat Alex Oliveira, Submission R1
Thrilled and proud to raise the Kazakhstan flag in the UFC and will keep on doing this. Felt like I got him good. Didn’t matter who was on the receiving end I was going to finish him. I will go home take a rest and go step by step. It was my birthday yesterday and this a great present for myself. My opponent made a mistake and I made use it of it. I want to fight in Vegas and face top ranking fighters. MMA is popular in Kazakhstan, the whole country watches MMA, the sport is still developing and as fighters we continue to perform better to encourage more fighters.
Jung Da Un, Sam Alvey
Split draw, Decision R3
(Jung) I want to fight again right away. To the fans, I am sorry I could not bring a win, but I learnt from this fight. And to those looking to enter MMA, you should learn that sometimes you win sometimes you lose, but you must carry on.
Beat Liana Jojua, TKO R1
I want to show the world that I am the best in this division. Fight Island is protected, safe, healthy and organized. And I am honored to be here. Abu Dhabi is great, I liked fighting here, and I want to come back.
It feels amazing to win. I knew I will win this fight, but I did not envision it to be this way. Thank you Dana, team and family. I won this fight, and I am ready to go to the next one.
I knew I can stand up, I keep telling people, I have Muay Thai experience. I only had to stay up. I was ready to go the end. I wanted to show Dana the grappling and other skills I have.
For the past five years, I have been fighting and training, so I will continue my education and fighting career. I want the Phd degree and the world championship.
I want to fight the top contender the top ten. My goal is to fight Valentina because nobody is calling her out.
I want to go back home and celebrate with my family, call my dad who was not in my corner today.
I am hoping for Gaethje, but my gut tells me Khabib
Beat Alexander Yakovlev, Submission R1
That’s exactly what we worked for, and I was not surprised with it.
I was worried I will get tired, so I let it go, then used my opponent to lock him in submission
I am a professional player, 4 weeks was not enough for me to prepare, so next time I will be more prepared.
Now I need to continue healing; I have injuries in my right shoulder and my foot.
After the fight I asked my opponent if he was ok.