Following his promotional debut in 2020, “The Moroccan Devil” Youssef Zalal capped the year at 3-1 inside the UFC octagon. Now, with a new year and a fresh start, Zalal dives into 2021 on short notice, once again to take on Seung Woo Choi this Saturday at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov
The pair were originally scheduled to meet at UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs Sandhagen on Fight Island in October. Unfortunately, Choi would pull out of the fight on 8 days notice. Zalal, however, would go on to face Ilia Topuria instead.
“I trained 8 weeks for that guy! 8 weeks! Then they called me 8 days (out),” Zalal says. “The next day I was going to fly to Vegas to quarantine to go to Abu Dhabi.” Switching the opponent last minute, Zalal says, “I went from a striker to fighting a wrestler/grappler!”
With such a last-minute switch in style dynamics, for that very reason, Zalal says it’s “why I don’t like camps! This is why I hate camps.” Preferring to prepare in all facets across the board and let the fight play out where it may on the night.
“The biggest thing I got from that fight is the confidence and how my level is to compare to these guys,” he says. “When I’m having fun and doing my thing, I am one of the best in the world to do what I need to do!”
With Saturday steadily approaching, and another short-notice opportunity for Zalal to seize, he eagerly expresses, “I can’t wait to face this guy (Choi).” “I’m just going to go out there and do my job and I love this job!” Finalizing with, “on Saturday, you guys will see a whole different Youssef. Trust me!”
Tune in above as Youssef “The Moroccan Devil” Zalal catches up with MyMMANews before he steps into the octagon for the first time in 2021. He discusses preparations for Choi, staying sharp during the pandemic, and he opens up about addressing his own issues of self-doubt and realizing his worth.
Currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Wilmington University, Adam’s passion for the sport only grows stronger when a fighter’s voice can be heard. He thrives on asking detailed questions to inspire the thoughts behind the punches in hopes that each fighter can find their proper justice. Specializing in pre and post fight interviews for MyMMANews, Adam strives to keep the fight fans up to speed with the most recent and authentic MMA news possible.
He is Co-promoter of Delaware’s premier kick-boxing and Muay Thai organization, IBF Promotions. Recently he has also accompanied MMA organizations Global Proving Ground and XCC as Co-host and ringside commentator.