UFC 278: Amir Albazi Questions Modern Black Belts, Says “Jiu-jitsu is Watered Down”

Salt Lake City, UT — After a year and a half on the sidelines, Iraq’s Amir Albazi made a triumphant return to the octagon at UFC 278.

“The Prince,” an Iraqi-born Swede fighting out of England, made short work of Francisco Figueiredo, submitting the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt inside of a round.

“It feels good, it feels extra good. I expected the win. I’m here to just show people that I’m a different level of animal,” Albazi (15-1) told media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout. “My pressure is different, my jiu-jitsu is different, my mentality is different, that’s the most important part. And this is just another step to the gold, another step to the belt.”

So just how does he keep finding success against high-level jiu-jitsu practitioners? Albazi appeared to question just how high-level they really are.

“Jiu-jitsu is watered down, man,” he stated. “How jiu-jitsu looks now is not the jiu-jitsu I remember it to be.”

Crediting his coaches and team for his ground skills, Albazi added that “I stopped jiu-jitsu when I got my purple belt, so I’m still a purple belt. When I see these people calling themselves a black belt, to be honest I laugh. They don’t do the basics right, everything is flakey. I’m here to show them what real jiu-jitsu is, and so far you’ve seen it. This is my second black belt and I’m making them tap in the first round.”

Albazi is open to fighting Figueiredo’s brother, Deiveson, who holds flyweight gold at the moment, though he’s aware that may be a few fights away. “Let his older brother come. If he wants to fight me, I’ll take care of him too. I don’t believe in his jiu-jitsu either.”

Regardless of who he fights, however, Amir Albazi is hoping to stay active, and he has some dates in mind for his return.

“I’m looking to stay active this year. If I can get two more fights out, one in Abu Dhabi, and I heard they’re going to Sweden too in November. So let’s go, that’s my home base too. I want to fight as much as possible this year, and next year hopefully another four fights.”

Watch the full UFC 278 post-fight press scrum with Amir Albazi above.