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Tarec Saffiedine Talks UFC Debut/ Evolve MMA/ UFC 172/ Family

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Tarec Saffiedine, a new UFC welterweight force made his perfect start with a unanimous decision win over Hyun Gyu Lim in Singapore last month. His dismantling of his opponent landed him a Fight of the Night bonus and moved him to No. 9 in the UFC’s official rankings.

Saffiedine will be back at UFC 172 were he will face the current No. 5 ranked welterweight Jake Ellenberger and the opportunity to establish himself in the upper echelon of the 170-pound division and move into immediate contention for a title shot.

The two fighters were initially supposed to face off in the main event of UFC Fight Night 34. Whoever the fight was cancelled due to Ellenberger’s injury. Saffiedine’s single fight at UFC will be scaled with a veteran with 11 UFC fights.

Can you tell us a little about your debut UFC appearance at Fight Night 34 against Hyun Gyu Lim? Were you satisfied with your performance that night? Did the last-minute change of opponents bother you? And how did it feel to fight on the biggest MMA platform? any different from StrikeForce?

It was a great experience fighting in the UFC for the very first time after a year off. I was really excited and anxious to be back in the cage. I was happy with the performance because I think the fans enjoyed the fight and I was able to win after 2 surgeries. I wasn’t too happy also because I made a lot of mistakes in the fight and I have been working on those as soon as I got back to the gym. The change of opponent didn’t bother me, we just had to change our game plan. I think the biggest change from Strikeforce and UFC is the media attention, I received more media attention after one fight in the UFC than 3 years fighting for Strikeforce, specially in Belgium.

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What made you leave your gym? You had been enrolled in it for a significant amount of time and then suddenly we hear that you’re in another in Singapore! We’re just wondering about the sudden change and if there were any problems with the Team Quest? Why Evolve ?!

I didn’t leave Team Quest, I still live here in the USA and train at Team Quest. I’m not moving overseas. I have been training a few times at Evolve in 2013 and I really enjoyed the training and their team. I have never seen so many worlds champions in one gym from Muay Thai, BJJ to Wrestling. I will go there few times a year to train with the team and the coaches to improve as a fighter and an athlete. I love to travel and train in Asia, so it’s perfect for me to train with the number one team in Asia.

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An upcoming fight in UFC 172 against Jake Ellenberger an NCAA Division II wrestler who your were suppose to face in Singapore . How’s training for this fight with the new team? Will we be seeing any new Tarec with different weapons ? Or will u stick to paralyzing your opponents :D?

Training is going great, I am training super hard for this fight, it’s a big fight and I want to come on top and get the W, that’s all I am focus on right now! New weapons? Of course, I have more than one trick in my bag lol. I am planning on showing you guys that I am a complete MMA fighter.

Now That UFC will be doing 5-6 events in the middle east , mainly the gulf region . Will we be seeing you around givin the fact that you are originally Lebanese? On a side note, it was sick seeing the flag on ur banner! 😉

Yes that would be awesome, I would love to fight in the Middle East and why not in Lebanon if that ever happens. It’s important for me to represent where I am from and my roots.

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Okay, enough about the fights: how is it being father of an adorable little newborn baby? What’s your next move as a father? Will you establish your family in Singapore?

Being a father is great, I have 2 beautiful kids and it’s great. I try to balance my career and family the best I can and my family is definitely a great motivation for my career.

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