Jesse Arnett says it took Ali Alqaisi a month to sign the contract, vows to finish him inside three rounds in UAE Warriors 30 main event

Jesse Arnett
Jesse Arnett (Credit: Parus FC)

Jesse Arnett (19-8) says his UAE Warriors 30 fight against Ali Alqaisi (12-5) can validate his entire career.

Arnett, 37, is set to fight for the featherweight title as he’s moving up in weight following his upset win over then-undefeated Gadzhimurad Gasanguseynov back in March.

After the win, he says he could get any fight he wanted and he wanted the shot at the featherweight title, but according to the Calgary native, it took a while for Alqaisi to sign the contract.

“He’s been on a roll, but Tony Kelley is the toughest guy he has fought and I know I’m better than Tony Kelley. I’m his first guy in the top 30 in the world other than maybe Tony and I’ve fought a lot of guys in the top 30,” Arnett said to MMA Empire.

“I also know he didn’t want this fight for 25-30 days before he finally decided to sign the contract. He’s game, he’s durable, and he did better in the UFC than people think. I thought he beat Irwin Rivera. He’s only ever been finished once and has been on a roll, although the competition is not super impressive.”

Given Arnett is moving up to featherweight he expects his power to be a major difference in this fight compared to his others.

The Canadian is well-aware that Alqaisi is as durable as they come as he’s only ever been finished once. However, Arnett knows he’s the much better striker and will get the TKO win inside three rounds to become the champ.

“I think it’s like a 70 per cent chance it goes to the decision just because he is so durable,” Arnett explained.

“However, what I’m doing in practice and coming up to featherweight I’m hitting hard, I have hand grenades and am finally figuring out how to use them. I do want to stop him inside three rounds and I think I can TKO him, but I think I finish him inside 15 minutes.”

If Arnett does as he says and gets the stoppage win, he will become the UAE Warriors featherweight champion and says it would validate his entire career, despite never fighting in the UFC. He also plans to retire with the promotion.

“It will validate my career. In 2017 I had won 12 fights in a row and I got a shot in the UFC against Dan Ige at UFC Boston and that prick with TKO didn’t let me out of my contract,” Arnett concluded.

“Now I’m getting older and this is a big title for me. This is a legit world title, I think they are a top-five promotion in the world. I’ll be really happy with this.”

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