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Friday, Feb 07, 2020

UFC 247: Ilir Latifi Has “no Problem” Being The Underdog For Bout With Derrick Lewis

Latifi (photo via UFC / YouTube)

By FCF Staff

Ilir Latifi is set to face top ten ranked Derrick Lewis in his Octagon, heavyweight debut, and the Swedish fighter’s just fine with being the underdog as a result.

After Latifi was knocked out by Volkan Oezdemir last August, the powerful fighter decided to move up from 205 to heavyweight. At UFC 247 tomorrow, “The Sledgehammer” will face Lewis, who is currently ranked #6 in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

Heading into the contest, Latifi is the underdog with odds ranging  from +180 to +220. But while discussing that status recently, Latifi (14-7) said this (quote via MMA Junkie):

“To be honest, I’ve been an underdog all my life,” Latifi said. “Since I started in the UFC, I started fighting in the 205 division, everybody thought I was too small for that weight, and everyone was saying go down to 185, and I proved a lot of people wrong. Saturday let’s see, and now I went up to the heavyweight division, and I’m fighting a tough opponent, but I love the challenge and have no problem being the underdog.”

“Of course it’s a different kind of way, fighting 205 to heavyweight. You just have to adapt in the right way, so you don’t miss the positive things from fighting at light heavyweight. Of course my speed is something that I’m going to use in the heavyweight division, so putting on too much weight isn’t good either. It’s a hard balance, and it’s something that you have to find a good way to balance.”

Lewis (22-7), meanwhile, is coming off a split decision win over Blagoy Ivanov in November.

UFC 247 will be hosted by the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

posted by FCF Staff @ 9:00 am
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