Xavier Alaoui’s time on the big stage is coming, and he knows it.
But first, Canada’s Alaoui (11-3) must get through Cameroon’s Jaures Dea (7-2) when they meet at UAE Warriors 14 to determine the new bantamweight champion on Friday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
After being offered and accepting a fight on UFC’s Fight Island against Youssef Zalal in September, which ended up falling through, Alaoui, 29, said he knows it’s only a matter of time before he gets the call for good.
“Eventually, they’re going to give be a call for something again. It could be soon, it could be in a few months, or it could be in a year or two. But it’s going to come,” said Alaoui in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I don’t really like to think about the next fight. I know when I want to fight next, but I don’t really like to think about the what ifs. I just want to go out there and finish this dude.”
Despite his impressive record and 14 fights under his belt, this will be Alaoui’s first title fight of his professional career.
Alaoui said he’s thought a lot about winning the belt in the lead-up to this fight, and said it would mean everything to him right now to bring the belt home to Canada.
“I don’t pressure myself, I have no pressure, but I want this belt so f**king bad. I want this belt more than the PS5, and I really f**king want the PS5,” said Alaoui.
“I just want to have it around my waist and have it on the plane on the way home. I just keep picturing that every day.”
Alaoui built for championship rounds
Although he’s no stranger to going the distance in three-round fights, having done so on eight occasions as a professional, this will be Alaoui’s first look at a potential 25-minute fight.
Alaoui said he believes if the fight reaches the championship rounds, that’s where he’ll be at his best and really able to shine.
“I’m a cardio monster; I get stronger round-by-round. I get turned on when I’m tired. That’s my favourite part of fighting is when we’re exhausted,” said Alaoui.
“These fights are meant for me. I’m meant for one 30-minute round, but I’ll settle for five five-minute rounds.”
Alaoui has had no shortage of time to prepare for Dea, having originally been scheduled to face him at UAE Warriors 13 back in September. Dea was forced out due to unknown circumstances.
Alaoui said he believes he has the upper hand on Dea in every aspect of the fight, but will be looking to fight a smart fight and target Dea’s weaknesses.
“I think I have an edge everywhere, but, to be smart, it’s going to be on the ground. I can definitely out-strike this guy, I can out-wrestle this guy, and I can even out-kick him. But MMA is about being smart, so I’ll take it anywhere he doesn’t like it,” said Alaoui.
“If he doesn’t like the boxing, I’m going to box him. If he doesn’t like the ground, I’m going to take him to the ground. I definitely don’t think he’s on my level in jiu-jitsu, so that’s going to be a big thing to exploit.”