Saturday, November 26, 2022

UFC 280 Octagon Interviews: Sterling Calls Out Bantamweights

UFC 280 included a pair of title fights as well as a few top contenders that made their case for title shots, and MMA News has all of the most important quotes and callouts from the event’s post-fight interviews inside the Octagon

Mokaev Is Ready For The Top 15

Muhammad Mokaev had to overcome a few moments of adversity in his fight with Malcolm Gordon, but the 22-year-old managed to pull off a late submission win.

The undefeated flyweight now has three wins in the UFC and is one of the hottest prospects in MMA, which prompted Daniel Cormier to ask if Mokaev feels he deserves a ranked opponent for his next fight.

“100%, I deserve someone in the Top 15. Uncle Dana, 50 G’s baby!”

Muhammad Wants Edwards Rematch

Belal Muhammad entered UFC 280 as an underdog to the undefeated Sean Brady, but “Remember the Name” walked away from their bout with an impressive TKO victory.

Muhammad hasn’t lost a fight since January 2019, but the lone asterisk during that period is a 2021 No Contest against Leon Edwards. The 34-year-old thinks he deserves a rematch with the recently crowned welterweight champion, but he’s also willing to fight top contender Khamzat Chimaev.

“I heard Leon Edwards is out here. Where’s he at? I also heard the big bad wolf is coming back down. I can fight at 179.8. Don’t matter to me, I’m here to fight the best people, did you see? This dude was undefeated, I was having so many people telling me ‘Why are you taking it?’ I’m taking it cause I can beat the best. Everybody in this division. I’m gonna be the champion 2023, you better believe it. Puttin’ out my name right now.”

Dariush: “I’m Not A Beggar”

Muhammad wasn’t the only fighter to extend a lengthy winning streak at UFC 280, as Beneil Dariush defeated Mateusz Gamrot by unanimous decision for his eighth-straight victory. When Cormier asked what the 33-year-old felt he needed to do in order to get a title shot, Dariush delivered a response that was somewhat surprising given the part of the world he was in.

“I will tell you one thing, I’m not a beggar. I’ve done everything on Earth that I need to do. You said fight in here, whoever you put in front of me I’ve fought whoever. Here’s what I will tell you: my crown will come from my lord and savior. I don’t care if I have to win another ten fights before I get this belt, I’ll do it.”

O’Malley: “We’ll Give The People What They Want”

Aside from the title bouts in the card’s main and co-main events, perhaps no fighter had a more significant performance at UFC 280 than Sean O’Malley.

The decision to match the #12-ranked bantamweight up with former champion Petr Yan was met with considerable skepticism, but O’Malley proved he belongs in the upper tier of the weight class with a gutsy performance that earned him a split-decision victory.

The fight with Yan was an extremely close contest, and O’Malley admitted in his interview after the fight that he wasn’t certain he’d be given the nod from the judges.

“I didn’t know honestly, I thought it coulda went either way. I’d have to rewatch it, but fuck. Fighting is the craziest fucking sport in the world. I had to go somewhere I’d never been before. You know that’s what happens when you fight the number one guy in the world.”

The 27-year-old has never been short of confidence since joining the UFC in 2020, and although he didn’t demand a title shot he did indicate he liked the sound of being a bantamweight champion.

“I mean, I think the people would love to see me be the bantamweight champion, so we’ll give the people what they want.”

Dillashaw Apologizes To UFC Bantamweights

T.J. Dillashaw came into UFC 280 looking to begin a third reign as the UFC’s bantamweight champion, but early on in his bout with Aljamain Sterling the 36-year-old’s shoulder clearly became dislocated.

After losing via second-round TKO, the former champion revealed that the injury had occurred early in his training camp.

“I’’ve gotta apologize to the weight class, I kind of held it up. I completely blew my shoulder out at the end of April as soon as I started getting ready for this. I probably dislocated it a good 20 times throughout training camp. This is by far the toughest training camp I’ve been through because of that emotionally. That’s why I was talking so much shit about his weak standup, ’cause I didn’t want to wrestle…Unfortunately, that second round I couldn’t push up off my shoulder, so hats off to Aljamain for doing what he does.”

Sterling Calls Out Bantamweight Contenders

Even though Dillashaw was clearly compromised, Aljamain Sterling still put on a solid performance to defend his bantamweight title for a second time. The 33-year-old had been prepared for the fight to go longer, but he was also happy to back up his pre-fight trash talk.

After Cormier asked “Funk Master” who deserved the next title shot, Sterling didn’t hesitate to call out the top fighters in the bantamweight division.

“I mean you got Henry Ce-Doo-Doo lurking in the words somewhere, smelling like shit. You got Suga Tits, who had like a decent performance tonight. You got Marlon Cheetos, Dorito Vera. You got all these guys.”

Makhachev And Volkanovski Meet In The Octagon

After Islam Makhachev submitted Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC 280, Khabib Nurmagomedov helped his teammate issue a significant callout.

“Charles Oliveira is number two pound-for-pound, he finish Charles. Now is our plan, fly all the way to Australia and fight in pound-for-pound king backyard with Volkanovski. Let’s do it, we know we’re gonna finish this guy.”

Makhachev then got on the microphone and encouraged the “short guy” Volkanovski to stand up, which prompted the Australian to enter the cage and accept the challenge.

“Let’s do it. The lightweight on the line, the pound-for-pound number one on the line. Let’s do it.”

What do you think of the Octagon interviews from UFC 280? Are there any quotes or callouts that stand out to you?