‘Khabib is going to smash Barboza’ – UFC lightweight Mairbek Taisumov
Visiting Moscow at the weekend for this year’s final card of the Russian MMA promotion Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB), Taisumov spoke exclusively to RT Sport.
Apart from questions about his own career, another topic for discussion was the much-anticipated return of undefeated Russian UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov, scheduled for December 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This time, Nurmagomedov is set to meet 31-year-old, number three-ranked Barboza.
RT: First of all, many UFC fans are super excited to see you fighting again in the octagon. Do you have any information on where, who and when you’re going to fight?
Mairbek Taisumov: I’m just waiting. Right after my (last) fight I asked for another one. But the UFC cannot find me an opponent, you know? All of the Top-10 are scared to fight me, so I’m waiting. Even the heavyweights are scared to fight me now. I’m in shape, I’m ready to go. So I’m just waiting.
RT: There was talk about a possible fight with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Do you have any information on that?
MT: Oh, Cowboy is a bum. He’s not going to fight me. It’s also a bad time for him. After three years he’s going to come (back) to the lightweight division. I want to welcome him in the lightweight division. But he said ‘no,’ so I know it’s a bad time for him. He has to make weight. I’m ready to go in 170 (pounds) with him. But he’s not going to fight me. It’s difficult for him because he got knocked down in the last fight. So I just hope they’re going to find me some top opponent very soon.
RT: Some time ago you posted a cartoon on your Twitter, with all the guys from the lightweight division and Donald Trump hiding them behind a wall. Where did you get this idea from?
MT: The idea was from my friend. But this is a real picture, you know? The politics don’t give me a visa, I don’t know what the problem is. I never did anything criminal, I don’t have any other problems. I’m a normal sportsmen. Actually I’ve been in the USA, I have a working visa. But now I think they just hide their fighters.
Look at their scary faces when they see me,hiding behind the wall which their own president built to protect them😂Ready or not here I come👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/kSg2tRkpaZ— Mairbek Taisumov (@Taisumov155) October 23, 2017
RT: Are there any updates from your lawyers? Because you’ve said that your lawyers are working on your visa issues. Any updates from them?
MT: This Monday I have a meeting with them. I just came to Moscow for the ACB (event) and on Monday I’ll have a meeting with my lawyers.
RT: If you don’t get a visa, do you have any other options on your radar? Possibly Canada or Australia?
MT: I want to fight in Australia, they have an event there on February 10. Or March in London. They should be in Germany this year also. They have many events in Europe and Australia. I’ll take any show. If I had a visa to America, I would fight there every Saturday I think. But now I have to wait because of the visa excuses. And just wait for European shows.
RT: Your friend Khabib Nurmagomedov is going to fight this weekend. How do you think his fight is going to go?
MT: I think he’s going to smash Barboza. Barboza is a good striker, but if you give him pressure, he breaks. He doesn’t have a heart to fight in this league, with guys like Khabib. So Khabib is going to break this guy.
by Denis Geyko for RT Sport