Up-&-Coming Fighter’s Bold Claim: ‘I’m the Mike Tyson of the UFC’

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson

Up-and-coming middleweight fighter Claudio Ribeiro said he is the “Mike Tyson of the UFC.”

Riberio is scheduled to compete on Saturday against Abdul Razak Alhassan during the UFC’s first event of the year — UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs. Imavov. The 185 pounder has a professional mixed martial arts record of 10-2, which includes his contract-winning performance against Ivan Valenzuela during his last outing in August on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Like “Iron Mike,” Riberio is known as a knockout artist. All 10 of the 30-year-old fighter’s victories have come via KO/TKO, and he plans that come fight time, he’ll notch his eleventh. Speaking with MMA Fighting, the Brazilian said he “will bring the belt to Brazil” one day. And he’ll utilize his KO power to ascend the middleweight ladder.

“I’m the Mike Tyson of the UFC,” Ribeiro said. “I love to dance and entertain. I go in there to get things done. I might knock him out in the first round, it might not happen in the first round, but rest assured that I’m going to put on a show and knock him out.”

Riberio Said It Took Nearly 15 Years for Him to Earn a Spot on the UFC Roster, Called Out Robert Whittaker for February

Although his professional debut was in 2017, Riberio said he’s been on the grind to earn himself a ticket to the UFC for 13 years. Riberio said he “respects” all his fellow middleweights. But, his aspiration is secure UFC gold. And during his conversation with MMA Fighting, he expressed interest in fighting former UFC 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, on February 11.

“I have the utmost respect to everyone in the division, I’m a fan of all of them, especially the Brazilians, but the history I’ve made in Brazil, I’m doing the same in the UFC,” Riberio said.

“I’m building the foundation and the walls, and the roof will be the [UFC] belt. One small step at a time and we’ll get there. It takes training and effort. People think it’s luck, but it took me 13 years to get in the UFC. I’m here now, and I’ll show my worth. … I respect [Alhassan] a lot too. He stands and bangs like I do, likes to knock people out, and we’ll brawl in there. The hand that lands, brother, he’s going down.

“It took me 13 years to get to the UFC but I don’t choose opponents,” Ribeiro continued. “I’ll take whatever the UFC throws my way. Top 15, top 10, top 5 — like I said, I respect everybody, but I’m here. Want to fight? I’m ready for anyone. I see [Robert] Whittaker doesn’t have an opponent. If they want to call me [for UFC Perth], I’m here.”

Riberio Will Look to Extend His Win Streak While Alhassan Tries to Avoid a Losing Streak

Riberio is currently riding a six-fight win streak, which includes wins over Kelles Albuquerque, Marcus Vinicius and Jhony Gregory.

On the other end, Saturday will mark Alhassan’s 11th UFC bout. He holds a record of 11-5 and is coming off a split decision loss to Joaquin Buckley in February 2022. His fight with Riberio may be a do-or-die moment for Alhassan, who is 1-4 in his past five Octagon appearances.

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