Youssef Zalal is looking to go 2-0 inside the UFC Octagon when he battles Jordan Griffin this Saturday night at UFC on ESPN 12.
Zalal made his UFC debut on short notice against Austin Lingo where he scored a decision win. Now, his second UFC appearance will also be happening on short notice, which for the Morrocan, says is normal.
“I’m so used to it. My whole career has been like this, like I fight then four weeks later I’m fighting again,” Zalal said to BJPENN.com. “I’m so used to the short notice and staying ready and being ready.”
Although Zalal had plans of dropping down to bantamweight, he will stay at featherweight for this scrap against Griffin. He knows 135-pounds is in his future but won’t do any bantamweight fights on short notice.
“No way in hell I am cutting to 135 in a week. The goal is to still go to bantamweight after,” he explained. “If it is the right matchup and we talk about, I’d do these short notice featherweight fights. But, the goal is to go to bantamweight and make statements down there.”
Against Griffin, Youssef Zalal knows the American will try and get the fight to the ground and try and submit him.
Yet, for the 23-year-old he is confident in his skill set that he is better than Griffin wherever the fight goes.
“I’m pretty sure he will want to go to the ground because that is where he is comfortable. But, he is a good striker to. It will be a very interesting fight,” he said. “I’m not trying to avoid the ground, like let’s go to the ground. It’s an MMA fight. When I fought Austin Lingo I knew he was trying to take my head off. This fight could be completely different and we won’t know until I get in there.”
There is no question Zalal and Griffin have a clash of styles which Zalal believes will make it an interesting fight. He also believes a finish will happen, whether it is a knockout or submission.
“I feel like it will be all over the place, especially with the smaller cage,” he said. “It’s going to be a banger for. There will be a finish for sure. I don’t think it will go the distance. I want to finish every fight but if it goes the distance, it does.”
For Youssef Zalal he is confident he will get his hand raised and continue to pave the way for more Morrocan fighters to get into the UFC.
“It is crazy, bro. When you fight sometimes, it’s like this is awesome. But, I have an entire country behind me and I have people messaging me telling me they want to be like me,” he concluded. “It makes a difference and it makes me proud. It also is like holy sh*t, I’m representing an entire country.”
Who do you think will win, Youssef Zalal or Jordan Griffin?