UFC 285’s Loik Radzhabov: “From Now On, We’re Going to Go Head-Hunting”

Las Vegas, NV — Bantamweight Loik Radzhabov kicked off the UFC 285 card in Las Vegas on Saturday in a thriller with fellow newcomer Esteban Ribovics.

Radzhabov (17-4-1), a PFL veteran, picked up a unanimous decision win in a back-and-forth fight that saw him rely on his right hand and wrestling to get the job done.

It was an impressive debut for an athlete who was supposed to appear on the upcoming The Ultimate Fighter 31, only to be cut at the last minute. While rumors have swirled that Conor McGregor replaced several TUF fighters with his own teammates, Radzhabov himself isn’t sure what happened.

“I came here for The Ultimate Fighter. I was in the fighter hotel for The Ultimate Fighter fighters. I had quarantined almost two weeks, it was tough. You go in there, you cannot come out, you have to stay inside,” Radzhabov told media outlets including Cageside Press at the T-Mobile Arena following his win on Saturday.

“Whatever reason it is, I don’t know the reason. I was out of it. They told me I’m not going to be part of the show, like the day before. It is what it is. Where I’m from, we have this saying, when one door closes, God opens another door for you. So I’m very happy. They called me on Friday last week, told me I’m in for short notice, and am I going to accept this fight? Without a doubt I told them yes. And here we are. I’m a professional, made weight on point, everything is good, and I’m happy I got the win.”

His performance at UFC 285, expected to be one of the biggest cards of the year, now has the Tajik on the radar. It also has him past the usual debut jitters, and ready to, as he put it, “take over.”

“Any time someone makes his UFC debut, I’m pretty sure they get super-emotional, a little bit excited, and anxious before the fight. That’s what happened to me,” Radzhabov explained. “I just wanted to get it out of my system, make my UFC debut, and from now on, we’re going to go head-hunting. I want everyone in this division to take notice. I’m here, and I’m here to take over.”

Watch the full UFC 285 post-fight media appearance by Loik Radzhabov above.


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