Rakim Cleveland on facing teammate Maxim Grishin at PFL 5: “there will be no hard feelings, especially after I put the whooping on him.”

Rakim “Boogeyman” Cleveland left quite an impression at PFL 2 when he defeated the formerly undefeated Rashid Yusupov. Cleveland showed off his powerful hands by breaking Yusupov’s jaw and forcing the doctor to stop the fight between rounds. The American Top Team product was happy with the win but believes the six-month layoff he had between fights did affect his performance.

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“I was happy to get the win, it wasn’t close to being my best, not even by far. It was my first fight after taking about six months off. This time around, you’ll see a more relaxed Rakim in the cage.”

As he said, Cleveland expects to show the best version of himself at PFL 5 on August 2 and he will do so against a very familiar opponent in Maxim Grishin. Grishin and Cleveland are teammates at American Top Team and training partners who often helped each other out, including before their opening PFL matchups. They didn’t want this to happen but they are ok with it.

“It was something that we were really trying to avoid, we knew it was a possibility but it happened so close, so early. But at the end of the day, it’s a business and we’re both professionals and we’ll treat it that way. After the fight we’ll go back to normal, there will be no hard feelings, especially after I put the whooping on him.”

“I’m the type of person to take care of my family and earn my checks and get onto the next level, I’ll punch anybody in the face. It could be my dad, if he’s in the way of my goal, that’s on him, but after the fight, everything will be back to normal.”

Cleveland believes he and Grishin are similar fighters, both like to strike and the fans can expect fireworks.

“I definitely don’t think the fight will play out to go to the judges one way or the other. This fight is going to be a good fight, it’s going to be a lot of fireworks going off in this fight.”

In the light heavyweight standings, Cleveland is in fifth place. But he says he is treating this fight like he has no points.

“Just getting in isn’t something I’m looking for. I’m looking to be one of the top guys.”

“I’m looking at this fight like I have zero points.”

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