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Sam Sicilia has no problem fighting Korean prospect Doo Ho Choi in Seoul: ‘I get paid to invade’

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Sicilia was booked to meet Doo Ho Choi twice inside the Octagon, but the Korean fighter pulled out both times due to injuries. Disappointed, Sicilia wasn’t interested in facing him anymore.

"He didn’t show up twice. That guy is made of glass. He’s always injured," Sicilia told MMAFighting.com back in July, after Yaotzin Meza replaced Choi at UFC Fight Night 77. "And he’s a nobody. Nobody knows who he is. He has one good fight in the UFC, and got hurt twice. Working all that time and having him pull out twice, I just feel he’ll do that again. I don’t really have interest in that guy at all."

UFC matchmakers had other plans, though, as the featherweights are once again matched up. This time, Sicilia will make the trip to South Korea to face the 12-1 prospect.

"The matchmaker for the UFC won’t drop it," Sicilia told MMAFighting.com ahead of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 79 clash with Choi in Seoul. "He really wants to see this match-up for some reason that is beyond me. So I have to make the trip to his home city otherwise this fight will never happen."

After facing two different opponents when he was supposed to be fighting Choi, Sicilia admits he didn’t train anything specific.

"I don’t specifically train for him. Rather, I train to fight whoever," he said. "Especially considering how many times he has pulled out from our previously booked fights. One thing I know for sure is that I will be ready to fight whoever on Nov. 28th."

The first couple bouts were scheduled to take place in the United States, but Sicilia isn’t bothered by giving Choi the home-field advantage.

"I get paid to invade," said Sicilia.

The first time Choi entered the Octagon, he impressed with an 18-second knockout over Juan Manuel Puig a year ago, but Sicilia isn’t amazed by his record.

"I am a veteran and I have beaten both of his replacements. I have been competing actively while he has been sidelined," he said. "That’s fine. I smashed my local circuit as well before I started fighting in the UFC. That is normal for any UFC fighter."

Choi brings a 12-1 record with nine knockouts to the Octagon. Sicilia, who expects Choi to stand and trade with him, predicts "a solid victory" on Nov. 28.

"The only way it will go to the ground is if I want it to," he said. "I am the wrestler."

Winner of his two UFC bouts in 2015, defeating Akira Corassani and Yaotzin Meza, Sicilia aims the top of the division next year. Riding his first winning streak under the UFC banner since joining the promotion in 2012 and bouncing between wins and losses since, the Washington state native wants a better-ranked opponent next.

"(A win) means bigger fights and an undefeated 2015," he said. "I want to fight anyone in the top 15 that can get me closer to the title."