Usman Khattak and Semir Ali have shown they can do it all in the cage.
Khattak, 20, said although it seems like Ali favours his wrestling, he’s also shown his skill on the feet, proving to be a well-rounded opponent.
“It would be nice to get the most out of this fight and use everything, and not just have it be a wrestling match,” said Khattak in an interview.
“I’m happy with whatever he wants to do. I’m going to bring the fight to him, and obviously I hope he brings it to me too.”
But despite Ali having a reliable brain to pick at for information, Khattak said this dynamic doesn’t change anything for him.
“I’m not going to change the way I fight just for him,” said Khattak.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to be fighting him and whatever opportunities there are, I’m going to take them.”
This is a quick turnaround for both Khattak and Ali who both competed on the Fight Night 9 card on Jan. 25.
Khattak said he’s not one to turn down a fight, no matter how short of notice, because each fight is an opportunity to improve.
“It’s obviously nice to step in the cage and get a fight whenever you can because you’re never guaranteed a fight,” said Khattak.
“I also looked at it as another opportunity to get a fight in before Nationals.”
Ali’s Wish Granted
Ali, 22, was originally scheduled to face Tyrone Tuccaro before he was forced out due to injury, opening the door for Khattak to step in.
When he found out Khattak would be his new opponent, Ali said he couldn’t have been happier about the change.
“After he fought Samson, he was actually the one I wanted to fight,” said Ali in an interview.
“I think our styles match up pretty well, but I just think I’m better everywhere. I think I’m more explosive.”
With his amateur debut being a quick 44-second knockout win, Ali said he was hoping to get a little more cage time in his next fight, which he received in a unanimous decision win over Fred Bauer at Fight Night 9.
Ali said going the distance and still coming away with the victory was a big confidence booster for him because he now knows he has that in the tank.
“With my first fight, it was so perfect and went by so fast that I didn’t actually get to experience what it felt like to be in a fight,” said Ali.
“In my last fight, I actually got to experience what it feels like to be in there when there’s an audience screaming at you and hearing the corner talk in between rounds. It was really valuable stuff I learned, and I think it’s going to show Friday night.”
While he’s only had two amateur fights, Ali has yet to taste defeat, which is something he said he’s never been used to.
He said winning has always been the result for him outside of MMA, and doesn’t expect that will change.
“Winning is just something I expect. I’ve not really been one to lose very often,” said Ali.
“When I was wrestling, I went 12-1 in my last year. In jiu-jitsu tournaments, I usually win them. Losing is just not something I’m used to.”
“I’d like to thank my team Dynamic MMA, my coaches Vince Gentile, Matt Krayco, Chris Souster, all my teammates, my family and friends.”
“I would like to thank the Ascendant Martial Arts family, and everyone who comes to see the fight, anyone who buys it, and everyone that supports me.”