23-year-old Jared Papazian recently left King of the Cage as the promotion’s reigning bantamweight champion, hoping to get a shot on the sport’s biggest stage: the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Owner of a 14-6 professional record and currently riding a three-fight winning streak, Papazian has his eyes set on the UFC bantamweight title and won’t stop until he gets there. He told FightLine recently that he’s biding his time as a free agent, waiting to get a call from the UFC; once he gets there, he plans to fight his way through anyone who’s put in front of him until he gets his hands on the belt.
“Everybody says, ‘Once I make it to the UFC…’ Then they lose two and they get released. I don’t want to be that guy to win one and lose two and get released,” said Papazian. “My goal is to get that belt. Whoever has it, whether it’s Dominick, Urijah, Brian Bowles, whoever has the belt at the time, that’s what I want.”
Papazian’s goal is the belt, but he realizes that it’s far from an easy one to achieve. He has great respect for the current champion and for those fighters hovering near the top of the heap – the entire division, even. He knows that he’ll have to fight them to achieve his goal though and anticipates many Fight of the Night bonuses ensuing as a result.
“Everybody that’s in the UFC is obviously tough. I’m not counting anyone out. Cruz is very tough, his style is different from everyone else’s, which is why he’s been able to win. No one’s really figured him out. I think he’s gonna have that title for awhile, until someone does figure him out. His cardio is ridiculous. I’m not dogging or saying bad things about Cruz, I just want his title. That’s my goal. Other than that, everyone else is really, really good in the UFC. I’d like to fight whoever they give me, but I think me against Mizugaki would be a great fight, maybe Fight of the Night. Maybe Benavidez would be good. I just like to put on a good show and those two match ups would be great fights for the fans.”