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Teymur faces tough task in debut: A friend


In the fight game, one must take the good with the bad sometimes. The “good” for Sweden’s David Teymur is that he is making his UFC debut on Saturday in London. The “bad” is that he’s doing it against Martin Svensson, someone he didn’t envision punching in the face for money.

But such is life in the sport, and Teymur has come to terms that this weekend he and his Ultimate Fighter 22 cast mate will indeed be fighting. And that’s okay with him.


“The first reaction was a little bit different because we were in the house together,” the Team McGregor member said. “But at the end of the day, this is a normal thing. I have seen a lot of guys do this in K-1. For example, Alistair Overeem fought Tyrone Spong. They were teammates earlier and they had grown up together. And the beautiful thing of this is that it’s our job to go out there and do our thing and after, we sit down and take a drink together.”

Such peace after war makes mixed martial arts and other combat sports more unique than any other. Fighters like Teymur and Svensson have to realize that, and with so much on the line, any hesitation when the Octagon door closes may prove to be the difference between moving forward in a crowded lightweight division and being left behind with the pack.

“You can’t have those emotions that we know each other because your opponent is there to do his best; he’s there to win,” Teymur said. “You’re just going to stay there to take a punch from him and all this? So you need to be there, adapt to the situation and do your best. Both guys want to win.”

After dropping his pro MMA debut in 2013, Teymur has known nothing but winning, earning three victories in a row on the Euro circuit. That success, plus a lengthy kickboxing resume, got him a shot at appearing on TUF 22, and he made the most of it, earning a spot in the house with a win over another fighter debuting on the London card, Thibault Gouti.

After defeating Johnny Nunez, Teymur lost a majority decision to teammate Marcin Wrzosek in the quarterfinals, but he’s back this weekend and looking to secure a place on the roster. But is the 26-year-old ready for the big show after just four pro fights? As he explains, he’s been around the fight game for a while, and if that’s not enough, he promises some fireworks whenever his name is called.

“Me and my brother came from K-1, so I’ve been fighting a lot of guys who came to the UFC and made their debuts,” the Stockholm resident said. “I’ve already fought in front of 20,000 people and big crowds like that and I’ve been in this game a long time. I’m 26 years old and I have the style that people want to see. (UFC President) Dana White watched my fight and he loved my way of fighting. I have what you need to sell tickets – I know that. I have the fighting character, compared to a lot of other guys. It’s not this classic wrestling style. I have this background with flying knees, flying kicks, and I come with different things. People love to watch that.”

They do, and if the fans love him, the southpaw promises that they’ll be getting even more of the Teymur family in the future in the form of his brother Daniel.

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“He’s one or two fights away, and then he will also be in the UFC for sure,” David said of his brother, who has won all four of his pro MMA bouts and who is pretty excited to see his sibling in the big show. “He’s really happy for me. Whatever I need, he helps me. You know how brothers are.”

First, it’s David’s turn though, and he can’t wait to get his first taste of the UFC.

“London is going to be a huge event,” Teymur said. “Anderson Silva is there and for a lot of fans it will be easier for them to watch me live. There will be a lot of people over there and it’s going to be good.”