Youssef Zalal speaks with MyMMANews
“I really shine on short notices”, Youssef “The Moroccan Devil” Zalal (8-2) says ahead of Saturdays UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs Hooker. On a week’s notice, Zalal will make his second walk to the UFC Octagon against the more experienced Jordan Griffin (18-7).
Griffin was scheduled to face Darrick Minner last weekend at UFC on ESPN 10. In an unfortunate turn of events, during Minner’s weight cut, he fell ill and was forced to withdraw from the card. With Griffin still fresh, and Zalal’s stay ready mentality, we have a new fight! “I took the fight, I did not care” Zalal says with an elated grin. “They told me he was 18-7 and all this and that…Experience! Blah blah. But, it’s time to have fun,” Zalal insists!
Zalal previously stated that he wanted to compete after Ramadan. To “the Moroccan Devils” credit, he’s sticking to his word. However, Zalal didn’t think he’d feasibly fight until July. With all of his trust in this team, the featherweight knows with his relentless training with his team at Factory X, he’s more than prepared to step up. Many young UFC up and comers know, when you get the call, you don’t pass up the opportunity.
“Opportunity comes to me, I’m not saying no,” he says. “A couple years ago, I would never have had this opportunity.” Following with,“I’m just blessed and grateful.” Doubling down with, “I’m just grateful to have the opportunity man, and step up when they need somebody.”
Discussing the contest, Zalal says, “He’s a durable guy. He’s a very dangerous guy! He’s not no joke! He’s 18-7 for a reason!” About Griffin. “This is a huge name for me to fight and really show my skills against a very experienced guy.” Concluding with, “He has 3 UFC fights. So, I can not say no to the opportunity! I would love to learn from that fight and really go show, that even though I’m young and not (a) crazy record. But, I can really show I have the skills to be what I need to be in this sport.”
Taking a closer look and breaking the fight down, Zalal says, “It’s going to be all over the place. Something like this fight, it’s going to be striking, ground, I feel It’s going to be nuts,” Warning his opponent, “If you’re trying to take my neck, I’m trying to take your neck!” Giving credit, Zalal says, “He’s tough to finish. So, if I can get that under my belt. Finishing Jordan Griffin, that’s big! And usually when I finish people, it’s something crazy. I’m very excited!”
Tune in above as Youssef “The Moroccan Devil” Zalal catches up with MyMMANews just days before his sophomore bout in the UFC against Jordan Griffin at UFC on ESPN: Porier vs Hooker. The action goes down this Saturday June 27th live from the UFC Apex, and available on ESPN.
Make sure you keep it locked to MyMMANews.com for your full, round by round updates, and official results for UFC on ESPN: Porier vs Hooker.