EXCLUSIVE | Max Griffin ready to show Zelim Imadaev ‘this isn’t the backyard leagues’

Max Griffin

Max Griffin is looking to get back into the win column at UFC 236.

Griffin is currently on a two-fight losing streak with losses to Curtis Millender and Thiago Alves, although many thought Griffin beat Alves back in February.

Now, Griffin is returning at UFC 236 to welcome undefeated prospect Zelim Imadaev to the UFC. Although Imadaev is 8-0, Griffin doesn’t think he is that good. Rather he believes he has a padded record.

“I know the guy. I actually trained with him at Xtreme Couture a little bit, but I don’t like him,” Griffin said to BJPENN.com. “He is one of those guys that tries to hurt everyone in the gym. Everyone at Xtreme Couture is like don’t spar that guy. Like he throws elbows and knees in sparring, he just has no regards for his teammates. He got kicked out of there so he is one of those guys. But, he is pretty good. But, if you look at his 8-0 record, six of those guys have losing records so he is beating a bunch of tomato cans. One of the guys who had a winning record was 2-1. So he really has only fought one guy that was legit. I am going to show him this isn’t the backyard leagues, these aren’t tomato cans. I am frustrated about my last fight.”

Even though Griffin doesn’t think Imadaev has fought the best, he is still undefeated. But, Griffin believes there is levels to this game and the newcomer will not be on his level on Saturday night.

“No, he is not [on my level]. He has a good trainer, he is good. He doesn’t know what it is like, but he may think he knows but he doesn’t. I’m excited man,” he said. “This is my seventh fight in the UFC. I have almost had as many fights in the UFC than he has had total. I’m going to put this fool away.”

Griffin expects this to be a striking matchup and is confident his striking is miles better than Imadaev. And, with the bitter taste of his last fight still there, Griffin knows he has to win this fight.

“I am going to kill this guy, it is life or death for me. To have that loss that I didn’t really lose it leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” Griffin explained. “They set me up with this prospect guy that they like. I am going to f**k this guy up. It is a statement fight for me. I don’t like the guy so I am going to show it.”

For now, Griffin is getting ready for last minute preparations and looking forward to fighting back in the States. After his last fight, Griffin says he will never fight in Brazil again. Ultimately, he is close to home and gets to fight on a big card which is what exactly what he was looking for.

“I like them, man. I fought on a big cards in the past. It is just more visibility that is all it is, that is the main thing,” he said. “I fought on 202, 226. I actually asked for Atlanta, like I sent Sean (Shelby) a message. I wanted to get back in there. Coming off that last fight, I was healthy and the fact that I could fight somewhat locally is exciting.”

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/7/2019.