Sparta 93: Youssef Zalal Plans To Finish Opponent, Get Back To UFC In 2023

Youssef Zalal, UFC
Youssef Zalal, UFC San Diego Ceremonial Weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Youssef Zalal wants to get back to the UFC.

When the news broke that Zalal was released from the UFC earlier this year, many were surprised. After all, Zalal is only 26-years-old and has faced some incredibly tough opposition, including top prospect Ilia Topuria.

But while fans and analysts were surprised by the release, Zalal, unfortunately, knew it was coming.

“It’s business,” Zalal told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview. “I was on a three-fight losing streak, lost to guys I could have beat, and then I had a draw. So if the UFC re-signs me, it is kind of a bad look on them, you know? I get it, man. It is a cutthroat sport, and I didn’t do my part. It is what it is. But like you said, I’m young. So I have time on my side. And really, I’m not worrying too much about it. I know I will be back in the UFC.”

“The Moroccan Devil” hopes to be back fighting in the UFC after one or two fights on the regional scene but knows it is all about timing.

“I honestly don’t know what it is going to take to get me back there. I’m hoping for one or two, to be honest,” Zala said. “That’s my hope, you know, but again, it’s like everything can change, especially with them signing a lot of guys and then cutting a lot of guys. So it all depends on the scenario. If I can get back into the UFC like how I did originally, I will do that in a second. I came into the UFC ready to fight on ten days’ notice, and I’d do it again. Just call me. I’m always ready to fight.”

If Zalal wants to get back to the biggest fight promotion on the planet, he has to get through Edwin Chavez (6-2) this weekend at Sparta 93. The 26-year-old loves the match-up and believes he will get his first finish since 2019.

“It’s a great match-up for me. He’s a tough, durable guy that comes to scrap. He has a win over my teammate Colin [Anglin], so I have even extra motivation,” Zalal said. “Edwin has never been finished either, so it’s like, for me, if I go finish him and really show my skills and my improvement, people will see what I really am. This will definitely be a showcase for me to get back into UFC.”

“I’m going to finish him. I really want to get a finish, and I will find it.”

Youssef Zalal vs. Edwin Chavez goes down on Friday, November 18, 2022 at Sparta 93.