On Sunday night, on the main card of the UFC’s exciting stop in sunny Orlando, Florida, Sweden’s Ilir Latifi stepped into the Octagon with Ovince Saint Preux. Though Latifi entered this bout as a slight Octagon, he came through in the biggest way possible, dropping his opponent with two rocket-fuelled punches before lulling him to sleep with perhaps the most frightening standing guillotine we’ve seen since Jon Jones sent Lyoto Machida to the shadow realm in 2011.
In the moments after this win, Latifi made an exciting – though undeniably surprising – callout of UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Cormier, who was working Octagon-side as a colour commentator, quickly responded, reminding viewers that he has bigger fish to fry, as he’s scheduled to battle heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 226. Latifi, he assured, will have to wait.
All the same, this an opportunity Latifi feels he’s earned. He reiterated why he feels he deserves a shot in a post-fight chat with MMAJunkie.
“Let’s see what happens,” Latifi said. “I have no problem fighting at heavyweight, too. But I want that shot. He’s never fought someone like me – a wrestler, same size, I never get taken down. Let’s put [us] together and see what we’ve got.
“I have mad respect for DC,” he continued. “He’s a true champ. He’s a legend, both inside the octagon and outside. But this is business, and this is my opportunity to get my shot. I think we’re going to put up a good fight if it happens soon.”
With his destruction of Saint Preux, Latifi moved onto a two-fight streak, having recently bested Australian prospect Tyson Pedro by unanimous decision. In his next most recent fight, he was turned off by an Octagon-shaking knee courtesy of current Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader.
Do you think Ilir Latifi is ready for a title shot?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/25/2018.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM