Stepping into the UFC Vegas 49 main event against one of the toughest fighters in the division, Bobby Green’s first main event in the UFC is nothing short of inspirational.
In a way, despite the short-notice nature of his bout with Islam Makhachev, that’s by design.
“I’ve been saying this from the beginning, this has always been my same intention, is to inspire, motivate, get people on their feet,” Green said during the UFC Vegas 49 media day this week. “I’m just doing the same things I always did— you guys just found out.”
Green admits that he “doesn’t know how to deal with this sh*t,” when asked if he was enjoying the ride and the fan support he’s had recently. And the media obligations?
“It’s been f*cking nuts. I think I did like 25 interviews, you know? And this lady said stop being good at them,” he recalled. “People keep asking for me to talk. I guess I should just give you guys bad interviews, then you won’t want to talk to me.”
Green had already blimped up to 195 pounds following his bout with Nasrat Haqparast two weeks ago, when the call came to fight Makhachev. He was also about to take his girlfriend to surgery. His reaction was to wonder what happened to all those fighters who got the call before him — but Green then threw caution to the wind.
“I know a lot of people got the call before me. Where those guys at? Why didn’t they step up? Because to be honest, I just got out of the cage, and you’re going to throw me back in again? I guess you guys have been little b*tches. Well f*ck it. I’ll do it. Let me show you how I do this sh*t. Snatch that sh*t, I’ll go in. Get me paid and I’ll do it.”
Asked if Makhachev is championship material, Green suggested that if it came down to wins and losses, then yes — but there’s more to the equation.
“Islam, is he championship material? He’s been really downplaying me. And I’m going to keep it real 100 with you, he’s a good opponent. He’s been on this win streak, he is championship material according to wins, if we’re going to talk about just wins, but I feel like when it comes to this MMA stuff, it’s what product you’re selling. I always tell young MMA fighters that, ‘what kind of product you selling?’ Because we’re all selling something. And the public’s going to buy the best thing that they can find. With Islam, he does what he does, but to be honest, it’s kind of boring. Even if he’s getting finishes, it’s still been boring.”
“My whole thing is entertainment, excitement. So he can be championship material, but it’s just f*cking boring. Nobody wants to see it, nobody cares,” Green continued. “I fall asleep watching his fights. and then it’s like ‘oh there’s the finish.’ So they can show a bunch of finishes which is cool, but it was sleeping, it was boring, it was lackluster. Some of these guys, it’s just a match. It’s just about the win. Everybody just wants to win. And that’s cool for those guys; that’s never been my intention. I never really cared about winning, I cared about entertaining, I cared about my style, I cared about what type of sh*t I’m putting out, and if somebody wants to see it. Because a lot of these things, nobody wants to see, they will never be watched again, they will never be played again.”
UFC Vegas 49 takes place Saturday, February 26, 2022 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV. Islam Makhachev faces Bobby Green in the main event.