Tarec Saffiedine Excited to Have First UFC Fight Set
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 04.13.2013
Saffiedine faces Robbie Lawler in July...
MMAjunkie recently spoke with new UFC signee and former Strikeforce welterweight champion, Tarec Saffiedine. Saffiedine is set to make his UFC debut against Robbie Lawler at UFC on Fox 8 in July. Below are some highlights:
Saffiedine on being excited for his first UFC fight: "I feel great. I finally have my first UFC fight, and I couldn't be more excited about it.
Saffiedine on turning down a fight against Carlos Condit at UFC 158: It's very frustrating to turn down fights. I had never done it in the past. I never turned down a fight before. When I was in Strikeforce, I was always down to fight anybody as long as I had a proper training camp. This time it was particularly hard for me to say no because it was my first fight in the UFC, and it was fighting Carlos Condit. But it was such short notice, and I was injured, so unfortunately I had to say no."
Saffiedine's thoughts on Lawler: "He's a veteran of the sport. He's been around for a long time. I used to watch guys like Scott Smith, Nate Marquardt and Robbie Lawler back when I hadn't even started fighting. Now I'm fighting those guys. It's funny. He's been around for a long time. He's exciting to watch. He's a brawler. It's going to be an exciting matchup. I can't wait to start my camp and get ready for that fight."
Saffiedine's thoughts on how he matches up against Lawler: "I'm more of a technical fighter; that's what I do. Robbie is dangerous in the brawling aspect, so I'm going to try to keep it technical, but if I need to brawl, I'll make sure I do it properly. I believe I can brawl, also. I brawl with Dan Henderson all the time at the gym, so it's OK."
Saffiedine on being the last Strikeforce welterweight champion: "I am the last champion, but I didn't defend my belt like Gilbert Melendez or Luke Rockhold. Those guys have defended their titles in Strikeforce, and I didn't have that chance, unfortunately. I believe I come in to the UFC with champion status, but at the same time I have to prove myself to the UFC and the fans. I believe a lot of fans don't know about me in the UFC yet, so I'm going to have to prove to them what I'm really capable of doing."