After over 16 months passed since his last fight, Xavier Alaoui said enough is enough.
Alaoui, 29, had been patiently waiting and hoping for a call to one of the major promotions over the past few months, but said he became tired of playing the waiting game.
“I don’t give a f**k, I just want to fight. I’m 29 and I’m giving myself five years of good health in the sport, so I just want to fight,” said Alaoui in an interview with MMA Empire.
“UFC or no UFC, Bellator or no Bellator, I just want to fight. I’m going to go there, whoop that guy’s ass, and that’s all I really care about. I’m not looking past him, I’m just waiting for my 15 minutes.”
Alaoui was originally scheduled to face Jaures Dea (7-2) in a bantamweight bout before he was forced out of action less than one week before the fight.
In comparing Zabitov to Dea, Alaoui said he doesn’t see many differences in what they bring to the table, and said it’s going to be the same result in the end.
“I know he (Zabitov) strikes hard, but not much, and likes to shoot with a good guillotine,” said Alaoui.
“He’s not that different except this fight is a heavier weight, and he wrestles better. I won’t change a thing because neither of those two are on my level.”
Alaoui doesn’t shy away from the best
Alaoui is no stranger to tough competition, holding notable wins over Michael Imperato, Mateo Vogel, and Nikolai Baikin. Additionally, all three of his losses have come by either split decision or majority decision to Josh Hill, Edgars Skrivers, and Shamil Shakhbulatov.
When it comes to competing with the best in the world, Alaoui said he believes he has what it takes to compete with anyone in the bantamweight division.
“I feel like I can hang with any of those guys in the top ten or top five. I’d really like to fight Frankie Edgar; honestly, that’s kind of a fantasy fight for me,” said Alaoui.
“To be honest, anyone, anytime. I’ve been around the world fighting and I’ve fought guys on the juice that cut a tremendous amount of weight to make 135. I’m not phased; I’m in the gym with the very best guys in the world. It’s a sport that doesn’t give you much time to prove yourself because you’re only given 15 minutes, but you need to make the most of that 15 minutes, and I feel like I can make the most of mine.”
Friday will be Alaoui’s first endeavour into the experience of competing with no crowd in attendance.
But after cornering a teammate earlier this year at a ONE Championship event, Alaoui said he’s looking forward to experiencing it for himself.
“It’s calm, it’s pure fighting. You’re just there to fight. There’s no bulls**t with the crowds booing or cheering. You don’t have any distractions,” said Alaoui.
“You’re in the cage and it’s just pure silence. It’s like what we do every day in the gym with no crowds, so I’m really looking forward to that experience.”