In yet another chapter of Injury Bug: The UFC 2012 Story, Rory MacDonald has suffered a pretty nasty cut over his eyebrow and has pulled out of his scheduled bout with B.J. Penn. A veritable who's who have thrown their names in the hat to offer their combat services in Rory's place, but nothing has been determined. In all likelihood, the fight will probably be postponed until November.
One outspoken fighter, Siyar Bahadurzada, took to Twitter to express how much he'd like to "test his warrior spirit" against Penn's. Although he's just had the cast on his injured hand removed a few days ago, Siyar feels that his will is the only tool he'll need to wage an epic battle with Penn in the octagon. In a recent TapouT Radio interview, Bahadurzada discusses why he called out B.J., and also talked about his new home with the Blackzilians camp.
Stephie Daniels: You tweeted that you wanted to fight B.J. Penn. What makes him your opponent of choice?
Siyar Bahadurzada: I would love to fight him for no other reason than to test my warrior spirit. Growing up, and then training and fighting in MMA, I looked at B.J. and saw how he crushed people, how he was such a strong spirit. It actually woke up my warrior spirit. My warrior spirit is untested right now, so who better to test against than B.J. Penn or Nick Diaz, but Diaz is out for now, so Penn is the only option for me right now.
I don't want to disrespect B.J. by calling him out or trash talking him. That would be the last thing I would ever do. I sincerely respect him. He's a legend and a great fighter. I just want to have a classic fight. He's a top guy and a hall of famer. I'm sure in a few years, he would also be proud of this fight.
Stephie Daniels: Are you medically cleared to fight, or even to train?
Siyar Bahadurzada: For a fight with B.J., I don't have to train. I would fight that fight on will. I got my cast off my hand like two days ago. I might not be allowed to punch until the fight, but that wouldn't stop me. I mean, he's B.J. Penn, and I want to fight him. I want to test myself against him. If they chopped off my right arm, I would still want to fight him. I will take the fight whenever he wants it. If he wants it on September 22, I will do it. If he wants the fight later, I'll fight him later. All I want is a classic fight with him before he retires.
Stephie Daniels: If Dana White pulled Erick Silva from the fight with Jon Fitch, and gave Fitch the opportunity to fight Penn, and you the opportunity to fight Silva, would you take that fight immediately with no regard for training, or does that just apply to a fight with B.J.?
Siyar Bahadurzada: I would love to fight Erick Silva, but except for B.J. Penn, even if it was Georges St. Pierre, I would not fight right now. I've been on fire since I learned his opponent pulled out of their fight.
Stephie Daniels: After Mike Swick's win on Saturday night, some fans and media have proposed that a fight between him and yourself would be a good match. What do you think?
Siyar Bahadurzada: Well, Siyar Bahadurzada is all about challenges, and no disrespect to Swick, he's a great fighter and I respect him, but I don't think he can hang in there with me longer than a minute. I just want somebody that I can test my will against.
Stephie Daniels: Name three or four fighters that would appeal to you for future fights.
Siyar Bahadurzada: B.J. Penn, Nick Diaz, Georges St. Pierre and Erick Silva. In that order. As long as B.J. is fighting, and not retired, he will be at the top of that list. If he's not, then it's Nick Diaz, because he's also a warrior, and always comes to fight.
Siyar Bahadurzada: They're all great fighters. If the UFC matches me with any of them, I'll gladly take the fight, but I'm not actually jumping to fight any of them, because some things you want more badly than others. I want to fight B.J. above all others. If I beat him, then nobody on this planet will be able to stop me. That would be like a confirmation of my fighting spirit.
Stephie Daniels: If you were to fight B.J. and win, where do you think that would put you in the title race?
Siyar Bahadurzada: If I fought him, it wouldn't be to put me closer to a title shot. It's not for that. If it put me at the bottom of the list or at the top, I don't care. I just want to go out there and fight him for honor. I don't care how close or how far it puts me from the title.
Stephie Daniels: If B.J. were to lose the fight with Rory, would your desire to fight him still be as strong?
Siyar Bahadurzada: Yes it would.
Stephie Daniels: You have such an amazing sense of self confidence and drive to succeed. Where do you pull that from? Is it from past experiences or just an innate part of your personality?
Siyar Bahadurzada: It's just something that I have naturally. It comes naturally from working hard and knowing what you can do. I work hard every day. Since my hand has been broken, I haven't missed a single practice. I didn't take even one day off. I've been working my left hand, knees, elbows, kicks. Opportunities come knocking at your door unexpectedly, so I have to be ready at all times. Now that I'm in the UFC, I'm ready for any fight, any time.
Stephie Daniels: Now that you're training with the Blackzilians, have you completely relocated to Florida?
Siyar Bahadurzada: Yes, I have.
Stephie Daniels: The last time that you recorded a loss was in 2008 to Jorge Santiago. What's it like being in the same camp and training with him?
Siyar Bahadurzada: I train with him a lot, actually. He's a real good guy. When I came here, he saw me and was like, 'I don't know how the f**k I won that fight from you.' [laughs] I said to him, 'Things happen and you were the better man that time.'
Jorge is a great guy. I've learned a lot from him. I'm having a great time training with all these guys. I get better every day. My power is increasing every day. I'm kind of shocked, because I already had a lot of power, but over the last eight months or year, it's increased a lot. I'm looking forward to showcasing that.
Stephie Daniels: How are you enjoying being able to train with Braulio Estima?
Siyar Bahadurzada: That guy is incredible. I haven't had the chance to train with him yet, but he is incredible. I mean, with all due respect, Nick Diaz had a good reason to run away from him, because this guy would have tapped him out within a minute. This guy is crazy good. The way this guy grapples, it's sick.
Stephie Daniels: Any final words before we wrap up the interview?
Siyar Bahadurzada: I would like to send a message to B.J. Penn, from one real fighter to another. Please take this fight, man. If you're really fighting for your legacy, this fight will be one of the classics. When you're old, you will think back, and this will be one of the fights that will immediately come up in your head, I promise you. Take this fight, and let's make history.
You can follow Siyar via his Twitter, @SiyarTheGreat