Amir Albazi returned to action for his first fight in 1.5 years at UFC 278 last night (Sat., Aug. 20, 2022), beating Francisco Figueiredo via rear-naked choke in the first round. It was another impressive performance for the rising Iraqi fighter, who never fails to push the pace and give it his all in his fights.
Albazi also went the extra mile following his win, trolling UFC commentator Joe Rogan by pretending not to speak English. After Rogan asked him how he felt, he turned to a translator, who asked the question again in English. He started to reply to the translator in English as Rogan looked on, perplexed.
“I’m just f—ing with you, Joe!” Amir said after a moment.
It’s an improvement over a lot of fighters’ reaction to being interviewed by Joe, which is to ask for a guest spot on his podcast (we’re still waiting for Jessica Eye’s appearance with baited breath).
At the post-fight press conference, Albazi explained the reason he decided to prank Rogan.
“I always wanted to mess with Joe somehow, he’s a comedian, you know?” he said. “I’m a big fan of Joe’s work, everything he’s done. So for me it’s a dream come true having Joe to me, interviewing me. So, I had to pull something out.”
Albazi is clearly as quick with his wits as he is in a fight. It took him just 4.5 minutes to defeat Flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo’s little brother, pressuring him around the cage before taking him down and tapping him out. It’s his second submission win in three fights with UFC, and he declared his hope that the promotion would turn him around fast for UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.
“I think I perform better, you have two different type of athletes, some people choke and some perform,” he said. “I’m here, the bigger the crowd, the bigger the event, I perform even better. So keep stacking me up on these cards, that’s why I said Abu Dhabi, I would love that. I’ve been fighting in Abu Dhabi twice in Fight Island and loved it, so let’s go again!”
Rogan’s interaction with Albazi was only our second favorite Rogan moment of the night. The first has to be his latest meme-worthy reaction to the main event where Leon Edwards caught Kamaru Usman with a head kick knockout.
JOE ROGAN WAS ALL OF US pic.twitter.com/8ZVIFt8Ir6— #UFC278 on BT Sport (@btsportufc) August 21, 2022
Say what you will about his commentating these days, but the man clearly loves fighting and seeing these historic moments. It’s written all over his face.
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