Bobby Green | Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages
Bobby Green does not lack for confidence heading into this weekend.
This Saturday, Green faces surging lightweight contender Islam Makhachev in the main event of UFC Vegas 49. It’s a short-notice fight for Green, who just dominated Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 271 two weeks ago, but when Makhachev’s original opponent Beneil Dariush was injured, Green saw his opportunity to jump in. Now Green is taking on the guy many people believe to be a future champion in the division, but even though he acknowledges the talent of Makhachev, Green doesn’t much care for the way he fights.
“Is he championship material?” Green said at the UFC pre-fight press conference. “He’s been really downplaying me, and I’m going to keep it 100 with you: he’s a good opponent. I think he’s definitely — he’s been on this win streak, he is championship material according to wins — if you’re talking about just wins. But I feel like when it comes to this MMA stuff, it’s what product you’re selling … We’re all selling something, and the public is going to buy the best thing they can find.
“With Islam, he does what he does, but to be honest, it’s kind of boring. Even if he’s getting finishes, it’s still been boring! So my whole thing is entertainment, excitement. So he can be championship material, but it’s just f*cking boring. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares. I fall asleep watching his fights, then it’s, ‘Oh, there’s the finish.’ They can show a bunch of finishes, which is cool, but it was sleeping and boring and it was lackluster.
“For some of these guys, it’s just a match. It’s just about the win. Everybody just wants to win. And that’s cool for those guys [but] that’s never really been my intentions. I never really cared about winning. I cared about entertaining, I cared about my style, I cared about what type of sh*t I’m putting out and if somebody wants to see it, because a lot of these things, nobody wants to see. They will never be watched again, they will never be played again.”
Boring or not, Makhachev’s style has proven to be highly effective. The longtime training partner of and anointed successor to Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently on a 9-fight win streak in the UFC thanks to his smothering wrestling game and his superb striking defense. It’s a style that Green admits is going to be tough to be entertaining against, but Green believes he can pull it off.
“I’ve got a long test ahead of me with these boring guys,” Green said. “And I told Jason [House, Green’s manager] that too. I’m like, ‘Jason, this guys is f*cking boring. What am I gonna do with this guy?’ So that’s the real test, making somebody boring, exciting. How can I do that? Can I do that? Can I pull that one out of my ass? I think I can do it…
“It’s gonna be fun. That’s all I want to do is make sure it’s fun.”
Given the circumstances of his accepting the fight, simply putting on a good performance will be a moral victory for Green, but if he can pull off the upset, then a whole new world of opportunities will open up. Makhachev is currently tied for No. 4 at lightweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings and a win will launch Green into the upper echelons of the division and possibly even a title eliminator bout. But even if it does, like in the fight on Saturday, Green is just gonna roll with the punches.
“It’s the same thing to this day, ain’t nothing changed: My intentions, my goal, my pursuit,” Green said. “I never cared about the title and if it didn’t come or came, it wouldn’t matter. I wouldn’t be thinking about it. If they want to honor me with that, cool. My thing is, keep the money coming [laughs] and keep my activity going.”
UFC Vegas 49 takes place this Saturday at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) February 23, 2022
I like the energy and confidence Bobby Green is walking into this fight with! Gonna be fun to see his style clash with Islam in there!
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 23, 2022
Israel Adesanya and Michael Page.
A couple of humble stand up guys. pic.twitter.com/vIejYNKkNo
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) February 23, 2022
I agree with you Champ.
— Dominick Cruz (@DominickCruz) February 23, 2022
Just because a thing is commonplace does not mean it is good.
Mike Mazzulli suspends and fines Adam Piccolotti for sharing a video of him throwing up during a weight cut. Mike Mazzulli does some crazy shit every year to get himself in the headlines. One of the biggest assholes in the game. If you fight in south OK your are in for a ride. https://t.co/LYVUmaWhg6
— Justin Gaethje (@Justin_Gaethje) February 24, 2022
I would never cheat on myself pic.twitter.com/o0kz6eMF4I
— Brian BOOM Kelleher (@brianboom135) February 23, 2022
Like father like son.
My son Kage carrying on the tradition pic.twitter.com/BBiNetOowx
— Frank Mir (@thefrankmir) February 23, 2022
Best wishes and godspeed to any and all in Ukraine and to those with family there.