Mounir Lazzez is looking to capitalize on his impressive UFC debut.
Lazzez (10-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) defeated highly touted Abdul Razak Alhassan in the main card opener of UFC on ESPN 13 last week in Abu Dhabi, and he wants to keep the ball rolling.
Lazzez came up big as an underdog, containing Alhassan’s early barrage by using his well rounded skillset to take control of the fight. His creative and technical standup was on full display, and he even mixed things up with his takedowns, making a massive impression in his debut.
The UFC appears to be heading back to Abu Dhabi in the fall, and the Dubai-based Lazzez certainly hopes to land on that card. He previously called out Mike Perry in his post-fight interview. He’s also interested in Niko Price, another opponent he sees propelling him one step closer to hitting the 170-pound rankings.
“Next Abu Dhabi event, be it in September or October, I’ll be ready and waiting for Mike Perry or Niko Price or whoever the UFC has for me,” Lazzez told MMA Junkie. “I don’t just want to be here. I want to make a run. Give me someone that will advance me significantly. I am ready and able and want to continue climbing the ranks.
“The way I see it, I took everything Alhassan had gained from his UFC performances. Whatever hype he had is now mine. I plan to do the same with Mike Perry or Niko Price and reach closer to the top 20. After knocking Mike Perry’s head straight and taking all his hype from him, as well, I would crack the tougher competition. From there on, it would be only a matter of time until I can prove myself worthy of being among the contenders.”
There’s a little bit of meaning behind the Perry callout. Lazzez, like Darren Till, is also managed by MTK Global, so the two have trained together before on numerous occasions.
Till’s beef with Perry is well documented, and Lazzez wants to back his teammate by taking out Perry. He also sees Perry, whom he’s not a fan of as a person, as a logical next opponent after his statement win over Alhassan.
“He’s a name with a hype that is reachable soon without looking too ambitious,” Lazzez said. “His style matches with mine and would certainly be a very entertaining fight. He also has beef with my teammate, Darren Till, so he’s got beef with me. You want to get to him, you gotta go through me.
“Lastly, his personality, as fun as it may be to some, is just negative, and his actions prove that. He should go through some rehab and wherever that gets him, I’ll then execute my rehab on him and hopefully set his head straight. There isn’t a single aspect of the game that he can beat me in. I want to take his hype and his popularity and turn it into mine. He can start his healing, and I’ll be ready for him in September or October in Abu Dhabi.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-mounir-lazzez-really-wants-to-fight-mike-perry-or-niko-price/