Amir Albazi’s Chance To Prove He’s One Of The Best

At every turn, Albazi has lobbied for the opportunity to share the Octagon with more seasoned competitors, ranked opponents, and through no fault of his own, those fights have yet to materialize. A couple have been booked, but each time, something has come up, preventing the fight from going forward, sending the surging flyweight into this weekend’s event in the strange position of headlining while not yet having faced a ranked opponent.

“A lot of people say, ‘Who has he fought? He didn’t fight any ranked opponents and now he’s fighting Kai, No. 3’ but the problem is not me,” said Albazi, who noted that he understands where the questions come from. “I was booked against both Alex Perez and Brandon Royval, and Tim Elliott before that; it’s not my fault they pulled out.

Saturday’s Full Fight Card Preview

“I’ve been trying to fight these guys from Day One,” he added, smiling. “I know what I can do. I came into the UFC on nine days’ notice and choked out a black belt with a triangle choke in the first round. I know what I can do to these guys; the opportunities just haven’t been presented to me.

“Most guys that are at the top, whenever I had a pull-out, they didn’t want to fight me.”

Part of that is competitors not wanting to fight backwards in the division.

Some of it comes from his contemporaries recognizing the threat the Iraqi-born talent presents.

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