‘I’m the Mike Tyson of the UFC’: Claudio Ribeiro aims for first-round knockout of Abdul Razak Alhassan in debut
Claudio Ribeiro has no problem setting the bar high for his octagon debut this Saturday, when he meets Abdul Razak Alhassan on the prelims of UFC Vegas 67 at the UFC APEX.
Making his first walk to the octagon five months after a 25-second knockout over Ivan Valenzuela that earned him a UFC deal on the Contender Series, Ribeiro said he’s chasing more knockouts just like boxing legend Mike Tyson did in his prime.
“I’m the Mike Tyson of the UFC,” Ribeiro said on this week’s episode of Trocação Franca. “I love to dance and entertain. I go in there to get things done. I might knock him out in the first round, it might not happen in the first round, but rest assured that I’m going to put on a show and knock him out.”
Ribeiro said he’s in no rush to climb the rankings at 185 pounds, but guarantees “I will bring the belt to Brazil” one day.
“I have the utmost respect to everyone in the division, I’m a fan of all of them, especially the Brazilians, but the history I’ve made in Brazil, I’m doing the same in the UFC,” said Ribeiro, a former regional champion at Future MMA, Thunder Fight, and Batalha MMA in his native country.
“I’m building the foundation and the walls, and the roof will be the [UFC] belt. One small step at a time and we’ll get there. It takes training and effort. People think it’s luck, but it took me 13 years to get in the UFC. I’m here now, and I’ll show my worth. … I respect [Alhassan] a lot too. He stands and bangs like I do, likes to knock people out, and we’ll brawl in there. The hand that lands, brother, he’s going down.
“It took me 13 years to get to the UFC but I don’t choose opponents,” Ribeiro continued. “I’ll take whatever the UFC throws my way. Top 15, top 10, top 5 — like I said, I respect everybody, but I’m here. Want to fight? I’m ready for anyone. I see [Robert] Whittaker doesn’t have an opponent. If they want to call me [for UFC Perth], I’m here.”
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