December 19, 2023 8:00 am ET
LAS VEGAS – Shamil Gaziev beat Martin Buday with a second-round TKO Saturday to open up the preliminary card at UFC 296 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Take a look inside the fight with Gaziev, who was a slight underdog, but won his UFC debut in dominant fashion.
Gaziev on the fight’s key moment
“I understood that he’s done when I gave him a big cut. If the referee stopped him when he was standing or on the floor, it doesn’t matter because he was not defending properly. But I was very confident after I saw the big cut and I saw in his eyes that he had lost in that moment.”
Gaziev on Buday as his first UFC opponent
“I was a little bit surprised when the UFC gave me Martin because he was top 15 in the rankings. I was happy because I know some fighters like warmup fights. But I’m not the youngest fighter in the UFC and I want to fight top guys as soon as possible.”
Gaziev on what he wants next
“There are a lot of fighters that I would like to fight, but I don’t have a specific fighter in mind. I really don’t have any names. I just want to come back and I hope the UFC will find a top opponent for me. … My record is 12-0 and my goal is simple: to be a champion in the heavyweight division. That’s why I want to fight the top guys as soon as possible.”
To hear more from Gaziev, check out the video above.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 296.
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