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Elizeu Zaleski says St. Denis is a good ‘test’ after long layoff, promises finish at UFC 267

Elizeu Zaleski will return to the Octagon at UFC 267, after being a way for 15 months.

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Knockout artist Elizeu Zaleski is ready to walk back into the Octagon following a long layoff. After being away from the cage for 15 months, the Brazilian expects to put on an impressive showing against newcomer Benoit St. Denis at UFC 267, one ‘Capoeira’ does not plan on going to the judges.

After going dropping a split decision against Muslim Salikhov in his last outing, Zaleski now wants to score a finish in order to avoid any frustrating results. In an interview with Combate, Elizeu said he believes to have done enough to win the match, so he intends to do whatever it takes to finish his opponent this time around.

“I think I won, but I didn’t get the win. I’m happy to be here again. We’ve made some adjustments and we know that the best path to win is either a submission or a knockout. That’s what we’re working towards. We’ve outlined a strategy where we’ll do whatever it takes not to leave it in the hands of the judges.”

Paired up against newcomer St. Denis, Zaleski is aware that the promotion is using him to test the Frenchman’s skills, but Capoeira has another insight on the pairing. Being away from the Octagon for the past 15 months, Elizeu believes the fight will also be a good experience to learn where he stands after the layoff.

“He’s a grappler, he likes to clinch and smother you in a fight. He’s undefeated, but I’ve fought other undefeated guys and I know the potential he has. It’s tricky to analyze his fights and compare because of my own experience and the kind of athlete I am. I think this is the first time he’s facing a well-rounded guy. It’s going to be a test for him and for me, because I’m coming back. I’m really happy about this fight.”

Before his July 2020 decision to Salikhov, Zaleski (22-7) had picked up a unanimous decision win over Alexey Kunchenko, back in March of the same year. The victory came after a TKO loss to Li Jingliang, which snapped a seven-fight win streak for the 34-year-old.

Now, Zaleski is expected to take on St. Denis at UFC 267. on October 30, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between the champion, Jan Blachowicz, and challenger Glover Teixeira.