Finnish UFC fighter Makwan Amirkhani was in typically cocky mood before his fight with Mike Wilkinson, saying the British brawler is an “easy” opponent.
Trash talking with the best, Mr Finland told Loaded he was going to destroy The Warrior at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.
“I’m the teacher and he’s a bad student. I’m going to punish him for that”
“There’s responsibility when you’re a sportsman at this level to act properly,” Amirkhani told Loaded. “In this fight, he’s the student and I’m the teacher. He’s a bad student, and I’m going to punish him for that. I’d love to make him retire.”
Wigan fighter Wilkinson hit Amirkhani’s training partner Niklas Backstrom when his hands were down at UFC Fight Night 53 in October 2014. Amirkhani claims Backstrom was already knocked out, calling Wilkinson “an a-hole”.
Amirkhani continued: “I hope the referee brings a pillow this weekend for when I put Wilkinson to sleep. I don’t care how it happens, just as long as he sleeps.”
The Finnish featherweight has spent time training with Conor McGregor in Ireland ahead of his UFC Fight Night 84 clash with Wilkinson. And he vowed to beat Wilkinson for McGregor, saying last month: “I’ve heard the Irish don’t really like the English, so I’m doing this one for them.”
Despite Amirkhani being favourite, 28-year-old Wilkinson was having none of the Finn’s claims, responding by calling him a “fake”.
Wilkinson told Loaded: “He’s just a show boater. I’m not scared of anything he can do. It’s a hobby for Makwan. He’s not a true fighter. He belongs in a film or working as a model. I’ll knock him clean out on Saturday.
“I believe I can do what Conor McGregor’s done”
“I’ve seen his videos, walking in slow-motion wearing an Asda suit. If I asked my crew to wear cheap suits and walk in slow-motion, they’d tell me to fuck off. Come on! Are we here to fight or are we here to look good?
“I’m going to break him, physically and mentally. Whatever he throws at me, I’m going to come back at him 20 times over. I’m faster, I’m stronger, I’m more technical. I’m going to make him look like a dickhead.
“Never mind Amirkhani. My focus is more what comes after this fight. I believe I’m world class, so I want to fight the top people; Max Holloway, Dennis Siver, Chad Mendes. I believe I can do what Conor McGregor’s done. I’ve got to make a statement here and then call for the bigger fights.”
Amirkhani has had an explosive start to life in the UFC, winning his first fight against Andy Ogle in January 2015 with a stoppage in just eight seconds, when he blitzed him with a flying knee.
He won his second fight in June against Masio Fullen in the first round with a rear choke hold submission. But his 2-0 record means he’s still only had 109 seconds in the ring.
Many Finns are expected to journey to London to cheer Amirkhani on. With the O2 usually giving rowdy support for any British UFC fighter, the atmosphere is going to be tasty even before the fighters get it on.
Loaded reporter Robert McCallum has written for many leading culture magazines and websites about music, sport, science, politics, fashion and arts. Follow Robert at @therobmccallum