Tarec Saffiedine is hungry to fight, and he already has a date in mind for his UFC debut.
The 26-year-old Belgian, who was pulled out of his fight with Robbie Lawler at UFC on FOX 8 with an injury, expects to return to training in six or seven weeks, and he wants the winner of UFC Fight Night 27’s main event as his first opponent inside the Octagon.
"I’ll be watching this fight really closely on Wednesday, between Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann," Saffiedine told MMAFighting.com. "I really like those fighters, both of them would be good fights for me. I’d like to fight the winner of that fight.
"They are both coming of losses, but I think Carlos looked good in those fights he lost. Martin got knocked out against Johny Hendricks. It’s going to be a war, I’m looking forward to watch it."
Still recovering from the injury, Saffiedine hopes to fight one more time before the end of the year.
"I’m hoping (to fight) later December, early January," he said. "If I start training in the end of September, give me three months and I can fight in December. But if my rehab needs a little more time, maybe January (is better). Dec. 28 at UFC 168, would be the best time for me. It’s been really, really frustrating. It makes me angrier, gives me more motivation for my next fight."
Saffiedine last fought in January, when he won the Strikeforce welterweight title with a dominant win over Nate Marquardt. Always quiet, "Sponge" won’t be seen calling fighters out in the UFC, but he realizes that he needs to speak more loudly to get top-ranked opponents.
"Obviously, I don’t choose my opponents, they decide," he said. "I didn’t call anybody out, I didn’t ask for a fight. Lawler was a tough opponent, would’ve been a great fight. But for my next fight I’m hoping to get a top 10 or a top 5."
With a win in his UFC debut, especially over guys like Condit or Kampmann, the Strikeforce champion expects to get closer to a shot at the UFC title.
"That’s the goal," said Saffiedine. "I believe if I win one of those guys, it puts me maybe one or two fights away from the title. But obviously, I’m a fighter that doesn’t look past anyone. I take one fight at a time. But my ultimate goal is to fight for the title, that’s the reason I came to the U.S. I came here to fight and beat those names. That’s my plan, that’s why I left my country, my family and friends. I’m really, really hungry and I can’t wait to come back to training."