There’s not a lot of fighters clamoring to fight Russian prospect Mairbek Taisumov, but apparently Anthony Pettis is down and ready to sign a contract to fight. That’s according to Taisumov, who relayed the chances of the fight happening at UFC Fight Night 127 on March 17th from London, England as ‘90%.’
”I spoke today with my manager, he said that there’s a 90% chance the fight with Anthony Pettis will take place,” Taisumov told Russian outlet MKRU (via MMA Kings). “I have already given my oral consent, now I’m waiting and I hope that Pettis also wants to fight and is now negotiating with the UFC. I have waited since September, I want to fight, how long can I wait? At the start of this training camp, I didn’t have a fight. I think it will be a good deal for me if it’s possible to organize a fight at the event in London on March 17.”
Taisumov is 27-5 with 16 knockouts and 10 submissions and has spent the majority of his career fighting in Russia and Europe. He’s 6-1 in the UFC with his last five straight victories coming via TKO. The last three wins have also earned him performance of the night honors, so maybe that’s why Anthony Pettis seems so interested in fighting him.
Pettis has had a rough time since dropping the UFC lightweight belt in 2015 to Rafael dos Anjos. Since then he’s gone 2-4, most recently with a loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC Fight Night Norfolk in November. You can’t fault him too much for the recent losses as they come to top shelf opponents like Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza, and Max Holloway.
Taisumov is another big risk ... while he’s never fought a high caliber opponent like Pettis, he’s considered by many hardcore fans to be a favorite to contend for the belt in the coming year.
UFC Fight Night: London goes down March 17th and features Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz, Leon Edwards vs. Peter Sobotta, Mark Goodbeer vs Dmitry Poberezhets, and Paul Craig vs. Magomed Ankalaev.