Russian UFC featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov is all set to return to action on “UFC Fight Island” against in-form Hakeem Dawodu, and says he’s preparing to avenge his teammate’s defeat to the Canadian from four years ago.
Tukhugov’s upcoming fight with Dawodu sees him face off against a man riding a four-fight win streak, but he says the Canadian’s skills don’t overly impress him.
“To be honest there’s nothing amazing about him,” he said.
“I can beat him in boxing and wrestling. No fighter is impossible to beat. Just because he’s a good wrestler he’s a good fighter? That’s motivation for me.
“I think I’ll fight better than I did last time. I’m more motivated now that I have a good opponent. Everyone’s different, but it’ll be good for me.”
Dawodu told reporters during the week that he intended to make Tukhugov the second of Khabib’s teammates on his victim list, joining the name of Marat Magomedov, who he defeated in World Series of Fighting in 2016.
Tukhugov said he won’t make his statement before the fight, and prefers instead to make his actions speak loudest inside the octagon on fight night.
“I told Marat: ‘I’m going to avenge you.’ A guy who wins one day can lose the next day, that’s just sport. He can say anything, but during the fight everything is different.
“Let him say that I’ll be the second Khabib’s teammate he’ll beat. Nobody knows what’ll happen in the fight. We’ll see what he’ll do soon.
“I won’t talk about what I’ll do. If I say something and that, then don’t do it in the fight I’ll be embarrassed in front of my fans. I know one thing –
I’m only moving forward. I’ll be brawling, fighting.”
And Tukhugov said he wasn’t offended by Dawodu’s statement that all he knows about him is that he is “the guy that punched Conor McGregor.”
“Why would that offend me?” he asked.
“I didn’t even know who he was until I got the fight – I never heard of him. I got the fight and said: ‘Who’s that?’ My friends said he fought Marat, but I honestly didn’t know who he was. Maybe someone knew who he was. It’s OK if someone doesn’t know who I am but he’ll know who I am soon.”