Fight of the night.
Yousefi, 30, said although he could see this fight reaching as far as the third round, he said it won’t come down to the judges scorecards.
“With the way he fights and the way I fight, it’s going to be a fight. It’ll be conclusive,” said Yousefi in an interview.
“In the end, I think I can use my speed and experience to outwit the problem that is Neal Anderson.”
This bout was originally scheduled to take place on the cancelled Unified MMA 33 card back in December, leaving both Yousefi and Anderson with extended training camps.
With the extra preparation time at Kamikaze Punishment Foundation, Arashi-Do Red Deer, and Crank Wrestling, Yousefi said he’s become well aware of Anderson’s strengths, but has continued to focus primarily on himself in the extended preparation span.
“He’s a well-rounded fighter, comes in hard-nosed, and he’s looking for a scrap. He’s not afraid to exchange hard blows,” said Yousefi.
“I’m just training to be a better version of myself, and I’m not too worried about what my opponent’s going to do. I’m just trying to make my defence better and my offence better.”
Leading into this bout, Yousefi has been the more active of the two, competing three times in 2017, compared to Anderson’s single fight.
Although Anderson has only fought twice in the last five years, Yousefi said he’s not expecting cage rust to affect Anderson.
“If he had time off from competing, he must’ve been in the gym training, so I’m expecting a really well-rounded, hard-nosed Neal who’s ready to fight,” said Yousefi.
“But I think me being so active will give me the experience edge. I may be able to see some things he hasn’t seen and do some things he hasn’t seen.”
Anderson Prepared to Shake Nerves
Although Anderson, 30, has competed just twice in the last five years, both contests were victories, including winning four of his last five fights overall.
But despite his success in recent fights, Anderson said it can be difficult to get in a groove when’s he’s not as active as he’d like to be.
“I wish I could say I wasn’t nervous, but it’s been awhile for me, so I’m always going to be a little nervous,” said Anderson in an interview.
“But once the cage door closes, everything seems to fall into place.”
He said Yousefi has a dangerous ground game, particularly his “tricky triangles” he likes to do, so he’s had that in the back of his mind while training.
“I know he’s very aggressive, and comes to fight,” said Anderson.
“He’s an exciting fighter. He comes forward, he’s aggressive, and it should make for a good fight.”
Out of Anderson’s six professional victories, five of them have been finishes, while Yousefi has an equally impressive finishing rate, with six of his eight professional wins coming by stoppage.
With their high finish rate and his motivation to get back in the cage, Anderson doesn’t expect the crowd to be disappointed when all is said and done.
“I think it’ll be entertaining. I think we’re pretty evenly matched, and I believe it’ll be a good fight,” said Anderson.
“I’m sick of training. I’m ready to fight.”