ABU DHABI – Mounir Lazzez is looking to venture out in 2021.
Lazzez (10-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who made history as the first Arab-born and Arab-raised fighter signed to the UFC, had an impressive promotional debut when he upset Abdul Razak Alhassan in July.
Lazzez is set to make his return to “Fight Island” on Wednesday, when he takes on Warlley Alves at UFC on ESPN 20. But Lazzez isn’t only looking for an impressive showing against Alves (13-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC), the Tunisian striker hopes to remain in Abu Dhabi as a backup for any fight that falls through.
No matter what the weight class is.
“If I finish Alves early in this fight, I will ask Dana to give me a fight after three days,” Lazzez told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Friday ahead of UFC on ESPN 20. “If there’s anyone at lightweight, welterweight or middleweight, for real, I mean it. I can make lightweight now for this fight. I can fight in welterweight. I can fight in middleweight. This is what martial arts is about. I’m not here just (to) give me four months, give me two months to fight. I’m ready anytime, anywhere, and I mean it.”
Training out of Team Nogueira in Dubai, Lazzez missed out on the opportunity to compete on the UFC’s last “Fight Island” stint, when he was forced to withdraw from his October bout against David Zawada due to a positive COVID-19 test. He will be facing a far more octagon experienced fighter in Alves and is well aware of the dangers that the Brazilian brings to the table.
“He’s a good fighter. He’s a well rounded fighter,” Lazzez said. “He comes to fight on the feet, the ground, as well too. He has a good guillotine. He doesn’t attempt takedowns, but he has good striking, and that’s what makes it interesting.”