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Albert Duraev plans to ask for a quick turnaround after UFC Austin

Albert Duraev plans to ask for a quick turnaround after UFC Austin

AUSTIN, Texas – After Albert Duraev won his way into the UFC, his promotional debut came in short order.

Duraev picked up a Dana White’s Contender Series win in September 2021, and in late October he had his debut win over Roman Kopylov. So this stretch of nearly six months since then must seem like an eternity.

Duraev (15-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was supposed to be back in April, but was forced out with an injury. Saturday at UFC on ESPN 37, he takes on Joaquin Buckley (14-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in a long-awaited return in which he’s a 2-1 favorite at Tipico Sportsbook.

Provided Duraev gets out with a win, he said he wants a quick turnaround.

“To be honest, I think there are enough well-deserving opponents in the UFC,” Duraev said at Wednesday’s media day in Austin, Texas. “In training, I work with guys from the top 10 and I think it’s not going to be a hard fight (against Buckley). It’s going to be an easy fight. My plan is to ask (UFC president) Dana White after this fight to give me a fight in T-Mobile Arena on July 2. After two weeks, I’m ready for that.”

Duraev said he’s well aware of how Buckley went viral in October 2020 with an all-timer spinning back kick knockout of Impa Kasanganay. He’s just not stressed about that result.

“Every fighter has something special,” he said. “Some have hands, some kick hard. He wouldn’t be here if he didn’t have anything special. But I’m ready for it, and I’m going to beat him. I’ll try to drop him standing up first. I’ll do anything I can to finish this fight – it doesn’t matter if it’s striking or grappling. I’ll do anything to finish him.”

Check out Duraev’s full interview in the video above.

UFC on ESPN 37 takes place Saturday at Moody Center in Austin, Texas. The card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.

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