Ilir Latifi Hoping To Get Into Title Contention With Win Over Ovince Saint Preux
Ilir Latifi is a man looking to make moves up the UFC light heavyweight division and 2018 could be the year that he puts his name in and among the title talk at 205-pounds.
The Swede is currently in Bahrain where he will be a guest fighter for the BRAVE 9 card set to take place this evening. Speaking yesterday at the weigh-ins, Latifi explained what he’d been up to since his last fight in September.
“I’ve been training and just waiting for my next fight,” Latifi said. “I was waiting for the right fight and now I have it. I’m going to be fighting on Jan. 27 in Charlotte, USA and I will be fighting OSP so I’m getting back into camp now and that’s what’s up.”
Ilir Latifi speaks to MMANytt ahead of his fight with Ovince Saint Preux in January at Brave Combat Federation
Publicerat av MMAnytt.com den 17 november 2017
Ovince Saint Preux is currently riding a three fight win streak with victories over Marcos Rogerio de Lima, Yushin Okami and Corey Anderson. Latifi said he was well aware of Saint Preux’s recent good run of form, but added that he was still confident of victory.
“He’s coming from a three win streak and OSP has been around a long time,” Latifi said. “He’s fought all the best fighters so he’s an experienced fighter and he’s tough.
“I’m really, really looking forward to this fight. It’s the fight that I want and I think it’s going to be a great fight. Of course, a win here will put me close to the title. That’s why I wanted this fight and I’ll be up there you know. In 2018 I’ll be aiming for a title shot.”
Latifi’s last fight came back in September when he defeated Tyson Pedro via a unanimous decision. Reflecting on the fight now, Latifi feels he bounced back well from his loss to Ryan Bader a year before and he felt he dominated the entire 15-ninutes.
“He [Tyson Pedro] was an inexperienced, but young and talented guy,” Latifi said. “It was a good fight and I think I won it clear[ly] and I dominated. I felt good you know. Now I’m back at it and I was just waiting for the right opportunity. We now have a date for the fight set so I’m ready to do it now.”
Daniel Cormier is the current champion of the UFC light heavyweight division and is the man with a target on his back at the top of the pile. Latifi said he had a lot of respect for Cormier, but added he’s expecting to fight him sometime in 2018.
“Daniel is a great champ and he’s been the champ a while now,” Latifi said. “He’s done a good job defending it, but I’m coming up in the division and of course I see myself challenging him.”
While fighting for the title is still Latifi’s overall goal, next stop for the Swede is Saint Preux in Charlotte. Known for his knockouts and devastating power, Latifi is hunting another finish to add to his record.
“I always go for the finish,” Latifi said. “That’s it. I’m looking for the win and I’m going to be going for a finish.”