Tofiq Musayev discusses Rizin lightweight Grand Prix win, UFC offer
Tofiq Musayev won two fights out of two at Rizin 20 to win the promotion’s lightweight Grand Prix. He received a hero’s welcome at the airport in Baku and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Youth and Sports held a press conference for him yesterday.
“We were approached from the UFC, made a concrete proposal. But at the moment we are waiting for a response from Rizin. If we are satisfied with their proposal, then we will remain in this organization and will defend the title. Otherwise, I go to the UFC.”
He also revealed that he fought Patricky Freire for three rounds with a broken arm,
“In the semifinals my arm broke but I still reached the final. We are glad that we have achieved this success and were able to write our name in history.”
Musayev’s trainer, Ruslan Efendiyev, said he told his charge to make sure the doctor did not discover he had broken his arm,
“Before the final fight I told Tofiq that if the doctors find out that his arm is broken it will be a technical defeat. To which he replied that it would be better for him to die in the ring than to be awarded a defeat.”
Musayev is no stranger to the U.S. and says he prepared for the final stage of the tournament there,
“We spent the camp in the USA, in California. I am grateful to everyone who helped us in the preparation process,” he said.
Musayev also confirmed that he would be open to a rematch with Freire,
“We are glad that we were able to represent Azerbaijan and I believe that even greater success lies ahead of us. As for the talk that Freire wants revenge, we are always ready.”
However he seemed to suggest that talks with the UFC were reaching an advanced stage,
“We are talking about the financial side and my manager is negotiating. Now we are undergoing doping control and the UFC is waiting for a response from us. After that we will communicate with Rizin.”
The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Ismail Ismayilov, congratulated Musayev on being the #13 ranked lightweight in the world although it is not clear what criteria he was using. But after winning 14 fights in a row the Azerbaijani is clearly in hot demand.