Sodiq Yusuff is now a perfect 4-0 inside the Octagon, and ranked in the featherweight top-15.
At UFC 246, Yusuff competed in the biggest fight of his career when he took on Andre Fili. The Nigerian-American knew it was going to be a tough fight but was confident he would get his hand raised. That is exactly what happened as he edged out a decision victory.
“Andre is a tough dude and even before the fight I wasn’t sure if I was able to get the finish,” Yusuff told BJPENN.com. “I was already confident I won and when the first score was read I was like yeah I won for sure.”
This fight with Fili was the first on Yusuff’s new UFC contract. He says he is glad he was able to re-sign with the UFC and fight on these big cards. Yusuff knows the UFC is trying to push him as a star and knows it is because of his style.
“I think that it is because of my style. It is very fan-friendly and I’m sure it is not hard to convince anyone to watch me fight,” he said. “Any company that is providing entertainment is going to put stock in that.”
With the win over Fili, Yusuff got ranked and will now look to work his way up the rankings. Also, Yusuff says he has gained a ton of fans since fighting on a Conor McGregor card.
“I feel like that win, that is the biggest win so far, obviously. But it is a win that was needed,” Yusuff explained. “It was a win to take me from being a regular guy on the roster to being a top guy in the weight class.”
Now, with him being ranked and taking relatively no damage Yusuff is looking to stay active. He is hoping to fight three times this year and be a top contender by the end of the year.
Yet, Yusuff knows when he will return to the Octagon will only be decided by the UFC and his coaches.
“With me, my coaches just call me and say we are fighting this guy on this date. I get to it,” Yusuff said. “My schedule doesn’t change. I train full-time all year round so I’m ready for whenever.”
When he does return, Sodiq Yusuff doesn’t care who he fights. He only has his eye on one person and that is the champion, Alexander Volkanovski.
“I don’t have anyone in mind specifically, I leave that up to my coaches,” he said. “I guess the person I would want to fight is Volkanovski because he has the belt. Outside of that, I’ll need to get a few more so I just show up and do what my coaches say.”
In the end, this was a perfect fight and lead up to it for Yusuff as before the fight he found out he, his mother and brother gained US citizenship. But, he knows there is more work to do to get the rest of his family over.
“It is a relief but there is still more work to be done. The relief is that we are finally set but now the work is getting the rest of the family here,” he concluded.
Who do you think Sodiq Yusuff should fight next after his UFC 246 win?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/28/2020.