Article by Charttopper
Zaire born, and Swedish based welterweight, Papy â€˜Makamboâ€™ Abedi (8-1) is ready for his first win in the Octagon having lost his debut, and his first pro bout, to Thiago Alves last November at UFC 138. Abedi is set to meet James Head this coming weekend in Stockholm, Sweden on the preliminary card of UFC on FUEL TV 2.
Abedi has changed things up since the loss to Alves, coming to America to train joining the Alliance MMA gym in San Diego to work with fighters such as UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, and Alexander Gustafsson, among others.
Reflecting on his loss to Alves in an interview with UFC.com, Abedi feels things would have been very different if he had trained for the â€˜Pitbullâ€™ as heâ€™s done now for Head, crediting the Alliance MMA gym with his vast improvement in wrestling since that loss.
â€œI wanted to test myself and I always want to fight the best,â€ Abedi, speaking Swedish, said courtesy of Michaelâ€™s English translation. â€œBut it was early, in my first UFC fight, to fight one of the best in the weight division. I still feel that if I had the type of training, preparation and sparring that I have now â€“ because I changed teams for this fight â€¦ the fight would have been completely different. So it was early for me, but it was a healthy experience that will help me grow and become a better MMA fighter. I needed to work with people that know how to bring the best out of me.â€
â€œIt was a good experience working with such good UFC athletes and a great champion like Dominick Cruz,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™ve learned a lot for my wrestling and cagework game. If I had trained like this for Thiago Alves the outcome would have been a lot different. So itâ€™s been an awesome camp that my head trainer, Andreas, put together. Iâ€™ve developed a lot as an MMA fighter working with the best.â€
â€œThereâ€™s not a lot to say about him (Head) because everyone in the UFC is a good fighter,â€ Abedi said. â€œItâ€™s going to be a good match. Iâ€™ve trained very hard and I hope James Head has trained hard as well because I want to put on a really good show for the fans in Sweden. The arena sold out in three hours. Iâ€™ve got the home advantage, the crowd, my family and friends behind me. Itâ€™s a friendly and familiar environment. At the same time, thereâ€™s a lot of stress and pressure because it is at home. But Iâ€™m honored and happy to be a part of this historic event. Iâ€™m honored to fight in my home country.â€