Youssef Zalal headed into the main event of LFA 57 undefeated and as one of the top prospects in LFA’s featherweight division. With a win “The Moroccan Devil” could have earned a title shot or a spot on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. But Jose Mariscal had other plans and in a back and forth fight, Mariscal took a unanimous decision from the Factory X product. When the judges went to read the scorecards, Zalal knew it wasn’t going to be his name called.
“To be honest, I didn’t care what the judges said, I knew I lost or whatever. I knew it was going to be a tough pill to swallow.”
But after two days of thinking about it, Zalal was back in the gym and knew it would make him better.
“I take it as a learning experience, it makes me better, who I am as a fighter.”
“I learned a lot of things; you can’t get comfortable with somethings you think you’re good at.”
As Zalal mentioned, he was in the gym right away after the loss and as always, was ready to get back in the cage.
“I’m always a quick return guy. I always fight every six weeks or so.”
He was supposed to enter the cage on March 23 for Midwest Championship Fighting in Nebraska but his opponent fell ill. Now he will return to the LFA cage at LFA 65 on May 3 to face Matt Jones. Jones is 7-3 and is also coming off of a loss. After learning more about Jones, Zalal is really excited for the matchup.
“I love the matchup, again I always want to face the top guys, the good guys. He has a pretty great record and trains at a great gym and he has a well-rounded game.”
Jones is actually Mariscal’s teammate, but it doesn’t matter to Zalal that his opponent will know him well ahead of the bout.
“It don’t matter to me, if he knows me he knows me. Every fight I try and get better.
“When it’s fight time, it’s only me and you, it’s no teammates, any other stuff.”
The Moroccan Devil is excited because he believes Jones will test all of his skills and be a tough test.
“He’s more of a well-rounded guy, if you look at his record, he has submissions, knockouts, all that.”
LFA 65 takes place on May 3 in Vail, Colorado and airs on AXS TV.