UFC welterweight standout Alan Jouban will return to the octagon next weekend in London where he will square off with Gunnar Nelson in the evening’s co-main event.
Jouban is very happy to finally be booked against a top-ten opponent, this after working his way up the divisions rankings over the past three years.
Following his victory over Mike Perry this past December, Jouban had set his sights on former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, who announced that he would be moving up to the UFC’s welterweight division.
Unfortunately for fight fans, a bout between Jouban and “RDA” never came to fruition.
Jouban explained to BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor why the proposed fight with “RDA” did not materialize.
“Yea so here is what happened. Well first off, I don’t have any beef with ‘RDA’, I just looked at him as a great opportunity. He was a former lightweight champion who was coming up in weight and is a very big name so I felt like there was more benefits to fighting a guy like dos Anjos then there was a guy like Jake Ellenberger. So I called him out. In fact I did more than call him out because my manager reached out to his manager and was like ‘Look, we want this fight. You guys want a welterweight. Lets make this happen!’ We called the UFC and told them we wanted this fight (with RDA). We told them ‘Hey if you guys call the UFC and say you want this fight then the bout is made’. It is that easy. If two camps call and say ‘Hey we want to fight each other’ then the UFC will make the fight happen. But they never did that. RDA’s camp never acted on it. So we eventually contacted them again and said ‘What is the deal?’. They told us that RDA wanted to wait until at least May before fighting again. I understood that. Everybody has timelines and personal stuff going on. I mean sometimes you just need to take some time off. In his case he was coming off two losses so he may have needed a little extra time. So I decided to move on from that fight. I did not want to wait until May. I had just fought in December and come out of that fight basically unscathed and I want to fight again immediately.”
When ‘RDA’ announced that he was moving up to welterweight the news garnered a lot of attention, especially from fellow fighters. However, Jouban feels like the hype behind a potential ‘RDA’ fight may have died down due to the Brazilian’s lengthy hiatus.
“I’m not sure that anybody is really banging on the door to fight him (RDA) anymore. I feel like when he made the announcement there were a couple of guys, myself and Tarec Saffiedine in particular, who wanted that fight. But now that ‘RDA’ has pushed it off and waited so long, I’m not sure that he is really the hot commodity that he was at the time of the initial announcement.”