Bantamweight Raulian Paiva has some bad blood ahead of his next fight, at UFC Vegas 57. Having defeated Zhalgas Zhumagulov in 2020, the Brazilian will now take on the Russian’s teammate Sergey Morozv next Saturday, after being called out on social media and accepting the challenge.
In an interview with Combate, Paiva explained the situation, but claims to be unbothered by Morozov’s talk. In fact, Raulian prefers to focus on what he is going to do on Saturday night. Should things go according to plan, the Brazilian expects to score another submission win, but does not rule out a knockout, either.
“I trained for everything. I’m a jiu-jitsu blackbelt and both of his losses have come by submission. I’m very well-trained on the feet, too, though. I’m ready. If he wants to take me down, I’ll use my jiu-jitsu and he’ll be in for a surprise.”
“I’m going for the submission, if he does what we expect him to do.” Paiva said. “If he doesn’t, I’ll win by knockout. I’ve trained my striking and my ground game is also sharp.”
In his last outing, Paiva (21-4) got TKO’d by Sean O’Malley, back in December 2021. The defeat snapped a three-fight winning streak for the 26-year-old, with wins over Kyler Phillips, Mark De La Rosa and the aforementioned Zhumagulov.
Now, Paiva is expected to face Morozov at UFC Vegas 57, on June 25, at the UFC Apex. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a lightweight bout between rising contenders Arman Tsarukyan and Mateusz Gamrot.