UFC Lightweight contender Abel “Killa” Trujillo joined BJPENN.COM Radio this past Wednesday, May 15 to discuss a number of topics, including his upcoming fight at UFC 160 next Saturday, May 25 against Combat Sambo world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Ranked as the #10 lightweight in the world, Khabib’s hype has been growing since his UFC debut. As the fourth man to face him inside the Octagon, Trujillo believes that this opportunity will be the catapult he needs to launch him into the top 10 at 155 pounds.
“I welcome the challenge. I’m very grateful for them allowing me to fight a number nine guy, a Top 10 guy. I really don’t know what to say, I’m just grateful to fight him. It’s just my time” Trujillo said to hosts George Matthews and Pedro Carrasco.
Having gone just 5-4 in his first nine professional MMA fights, Trujillo has been on a five fight tear as of late, including a TKO victory over Marcus LeVesseur in his UFC debut. That fight, Trujillo said, brought about less nerves than his previous four due to the fact that he felt more pressure to actually get a shot at competing in the UFC than he did when he stepped foot into the ultimate proving ground.
It was more so a case of wanting to make a good first impression with not only the UFC brass, but with the fans as well. In preparation for his fight with Khabib, Trujillo’s mindset has remained focused on making a similar statement.
“[The fight with LeVesseur] was my debut and you only get one UFC debut, so that’s your first impression. In my mind, I’m thinking every fight I fight is going to be my debut because I don’t ever want to lose that edge, that hunger. I don’t want to lose that, so this [fight with Khabib] is going to be my debut, too.”
Despite the hype following Khabib into the world of mixed martial arts, Trujillo said that he believes the bout fits him best out of any top contenders he could have potentially faced. The fight, which has garnered a lot of attention from fans and was touted as an early frontrunner for “Fight of the Night”, will be “brutal” according to Trujillo whether it goes to a decision or not.
“I think it’s a very good match-up for me. For the Top 10 guys, I feel like this is probably the best match-up for me. He’s a wrestler, he likes to strike; I’m a wrestler, I like to strike. It has entertainment written all over it,” said the North Carolina native.
With Khabib’s Sambo background, Trujillo has said that he believes the underlying factor that could prevent him from obtaining a victory is on the ground. Though he has worked feverishly on polishing his jiu-jitsu skills, Trujillo believes that Khabib will undoubtedly look for a submission and that he must remain alert in order to prevent that from happening.
One thing is for sure: Trujillo will bring the entertainment factor no matter what happens, as he believes he can wear down Nurmagomedov between the first and second rounds and eventually get the win as only he would have it.
“I’m going to go for the finish. I just want to finish this guy.”
To hear Abel Trujillo’s full-length interview with BJPENN.COM Radio listen to the player below, and don’t forget to check back for Part 2!