Paris, France — There’s been a fair bit of chirping over the years between Nasrat Haqparast and John Makdessi, but with the pair finally throwing down at UFC Paris on Saturday, the victorious Hasparast wanted to be clear: it was never personal.
Haqparast (14-5) walked away with a unanimous decision win on Saturday, in a very entertaining lightweight scrap. Following the bout, he touched on the “beef” with Makdessi, such as it was.
“Honestly it was just, we trained together seven years ago, 2015 at TriStar. We were like training partners. Then we split the team, it can happen you know, and he finds his own way,” Haqparast recalled, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press backstage at the Accor Arena. “We got matched, 2019, three years ago. I had some visa issues, I had to pull out. I wanted to get the fight rescheduled, it didn’t happen. Then we were supposed to fight in February, he got injured. Now it’s the third time.”
“In between that we had a little bit of Twitter trash talk. It was nothing personal. He didn’t say something against my family, me either. We didn’t cross the line. It was just a little bit of trash talk to hype the fight up a little bit. Now we squashed the beef, and everything is fine.”
Haqparast could be seen having words with Makdessi during the fight, but again, it was less about bad blood, and more about hype. Mainly, Haqparast being hyped up.
“Honestly I just love this. I love to fight, I love the sport, I love the promotion,” he stated. “It’s not like I want to act tough, I just enjoy this moment.”
As for the jawing at weigh-ins on Friday, “I just told him ‘let’s finish this,’ because it’s just an open book,” explained Hasparat, in reference to the three years of back-and-forth with Makdessi. “Now we close the book, and the next challenge is ahead.”
In terms of the action that unfolded inside the cage on Saturday, the 10-fight UFC veteran said that little of Makdessi’s approach surprised him.
“I expected everything except he did more pressure than in his previous fights. I kind of expected a little bit of pressure, because he wrecked his last guy in the first, second minute and he switched and went forward,” Haqparast observed. “Usually Makdessi’s fighting on the backfoot, distance, touch and go. If I would come prepared for a touch and go fighter, he would surprise me today. He did a little bit, but I expected the spinning back fist and everything. He was tough, he’s experienced, very experienced, he survived when I knocked him down, I find he’s not out so I let him survive. The double legs, I showed a little bit of my wrestling. I’m satisfied.”
Watch the full UFC Paris post-fight media appearance by Nasrat Haqparast above.