Tarec Saffiedine can be a bit intimidating, however he let the Submission Radio boys in on a little secret…he is a romantic guy! Make no mistake about it though fight fans, Tarec keeps his personal and professional lives separate, and according to the onetime Strikeforce champion, there won’t be anything romantic about what he does to Rory McDonald when the two meet at UFC fight Night 54. “I’m doing everything I can to beat him up on October 4th.”
With Tarec managing to only have one fight in UFC since debuting with the company, due to horrible luck with injuries and opponents pulling out of fights, the Belgium MMA sensation is refreshed and ready to shake up the Welterweight division come October 4th.
“I have everything to gain from winning that fight. I have everything to gain, nothing to lose” says Tarec with conviction in his words. “I think he has more to lose than me, and I have to put on a good fight, I have to win decisively”
It seems like Tarec is embracing the role of the underdog, something he used to his advantage in his past win against Nate Marquardt, winning the title when many counted him out “I have to win every round, you know I can’t leave it the judges in a way that it might go one way or another, I have to win decisively. And you know after that W, definitely that will put me right there in the mix.”
With all the injuries, cancellations, and frustrations behind him, it seems like Tarec Saffiedine will finally get his chance to turn the welterweight division on its head and make a statement. One that Rory McDonald will look to spoil and stop “Sponge” from joining “the mix” any time soon.
Keep an eye on Submission Radio’s UFC Fight Night 54 coverage is it develops.
Interview highlights below
If Tarec was surprised in getting Rory as his next opponent
“Yeah I wasn’t really expecting to fight him, but at the same time, I asked for that fight, you know. People where asking me who I want to fight next and after I watched him fight Tyron Woodley, I was like ‘man I want to fight that guy, and I wanna fight the best, and he is one of the best’.”
“I believe it was an exciting fight to put on, and so I asked for the fight, and they gave it to me.”
Advantages that Tarec believes he has over Rory McDonald in their upcoming fight
“You know, you are as good as your last fight right? So when I watch his fight against Tyron, you know he did good, nothing to take away from, him but while I was watching that fight, man I was like ‘man I can beat that guy’. The way he moves, the way he throws his punches, the way he set up his kicks, the way he sets up take downs, you know I truly believe I have the skills and the mindset to beat him, and that is one of the reasons I asked for that fight as well. And you know, he’s a technical fighter, he can keep the same pace as the fight goes on, he has no kickboxing, his kicks are ok, his wrestling’s not bad, but I don’t think he’s going to be able to take me down. And I think you know, I match up pretty well with him as far as technique. If I’ve got a good game plan, and I have a pretty good idea of what I’m gonna do, If I stick to it, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get the W.”
(Tarec Saffiedine comes on at the [3:26] mark)
Thoughts on the Matt Brown vs. Robbie Lawler fight
“It was a good fight, it was an exciting fight for the fans. You know, Matt Brown showed his toughness, you know he’s tough and he just proved how tough he is. Robbie kinda respected Matt Brown’s power and his ability to be so tough throughout the fight, even though he was getting tired, even though he got cut at some point and so it was an exciting fight.”
“Technically it wasn’t the most technical fight but it was an exciting fight.”
On being in the title picture if he beats Rory decisively
“Yeah I believe so, yeah definitely. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted the fight also, because he is tough. You know I have everything to gain from winning that fight. I have everything to gain, nothing to lose. I think he has more to lose than me, and I have to put on a good fight, I have to win decisively. If I win by decision, which I hope I don’t, I have to win every round, you know I can’t leave it the judges in a way that it might go one way or another, I have to win decisively. And you know after that W, definitely that will put me right there in the mix.”
On if he believes if Johnny Hendricks will be a dominant champion like GSP
“I don’t know, we’ll see. Like you said, it’s been really exciting since GSP left, because you know, I believe everybody in the top 10, top 5 is one fight away, one really good win away from a title shot. Everybody has the tools to fight to get a shot at the title. Everybody has a chance if they put on a good fight, good performance, and we are all hungry for that belt. So I don’t think Hendricks is gonna hold on to it for too long. Everybody is coming after it. His fight against Robbie Lawler is so close. Robbie is on a good run, on his way back to get the fight, and Hendricks has been injured, so we’ll see. Next year it’s gonna be even more exciting I believe.”
On who will win between Lawler and Hendricks
“I’m not good at prediction, but I would give it to Robbie because he has been really active, he’s been really looking really good, and I don’t know how Hendricks is going to come back after that injury. I don’t know if it a big one, or was a small injury, but I would go a little bit more towards Robbie.”
On bringing UFC to Belgium once he becomes champion
“Yeah that would be awesome, and you know that’s definitely one of my goals, to bring UFC to Belgium. Like you said, MMA in Belgium and the MMA scene is not as exciting as, you know even in Australia. So you know, it’s coming up. A lot of people are getting more and more interested, but definitely if I fight for the title or I win the title it would definitely bring MMA to another dimension, if the UFC comes to Belgium. And that’s what I’m shooting for, hopefully maybe next year or the year after.”
On Tyron Woodley rematch outcome
“It would be a different outcome then the first fight. You know when I fought him (the first time), I fought stupid, I didn’t fight the way I wanted to, I fell into his game plan and this won’t happen again. I will have my hand raised after a rematch.”
On what people don’t know about Tarec
“People don’t know that I am a romantic guy.”
Plans for Winning the Rory Macdonald Fight
“I plan on putting on an exciting fight. I plan on winning that fight and having my hand raised at the end. That’s what I’m training hard every day and I’m doing everything I can to beat him up on October 4th.”
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