The fun and games are over.
UFC newcomer Reza Madadi (11-2) is ready to make a statement when he enters the Octagon to take on Yoislandy Izquierdo (6-0) at UFC on Fuel 2.
"I will manhandle him and send him back home," Madadi told Bleacher Report.
Madadi is slated to square off with Izquierdo in his home country of Sweden for the only 155-pound matchup of the evening.
And as expected, "Mad Dog" Reza wants no one standing in the way of his homecoming party as he's spent his entire life fighting in the city of Stockholm.
However, without a run-in with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, it's likely Reza would still be on the outside looking in.
"I actually found out that I would finally fight for the UFC when I attended UFC 138 in Birmingham. I was there to coach Papy Abedi when my manager and I met Joe Silva," said Reza. "My manager introduced me to him and he said that he heard a lot about me and that he would do his best to get me in."
"Two weeks later, I received my lovely contract."
Reza will attempt to record his seventh straight victory when he stands across the Octagon from Izquierdo in just a few short hours.
Reza is also aware that while his confidence may be sky-high, there's no easy fight in the UFC.
"I realize that every matchup is tough in the UFC. I don't know too much about him [Izquierdo], and I don't want to know about him either. I just want to do what's natural for me and that's fight," said Reza.
However, Reza believes there's no reason not to be confident as opportunities to fight at the highest stage in MMA come few and far between.
"I am not concerned in any area," said Reza. "I know that I am better than him wherever the fight goes."
As Reza continues to progress into the prime of his career, he realizes none of his accomplishments would be possible without the help of others.
"I would like to thank my head coach Selman Berisha and my other coaches Boris, Sasha Martinovic, Omar Bouiche, Martin Lindqvist and my manager, Manos Terzitane," said Reza. "I also want to thank my sponsors for making this possible for me—Carspot, Orcbite, Great Earth and Venum."
"But most importantly, I would like to thank God for giving me this opportunity."
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