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Elizeu Zaleski calls for September barnburner with Matt Brown to pay back for UFC 198 antics

Elizeu Zaleski wants to get back to the winning column after a controversial decision loss in Abu Dhabi.
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Cleared to start a camp after undergoing surgery in late 2020, Elizeu Zaleski has issued a callout to veteran welterweight Matt Brown over an old grudge which dates back to May 2016.

“Capoeira” had just scored his first UFC win, a third-round knockout over Omari Akhmedov, when the promotion held an event in Curitiba for the first time a month later. Zaleski, who trains at Curitiba’s CM System, wasn’t booked for that show, but was one of the 45,207 people in attendance that night.

“The Immortal” was one of the attractions that night, tapping to a rear-naked choke in the third round of his welterweight match with Demian Maia one day after flipping the bird to the crowd during the ceremonial weigh-ins.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

“A lot of people would like to see this fight, especially because of the impression he left when he fought here in Curitiba,” Zaleski said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “It was the UFC’s first time here in Curitiba and he does that? It didn’t look good for him, people booed him. Demian Maia got the job done, went there and won.

“Every fighter promotes [a fight] a certain way, but we saw it wasn’t a promotion really. He did that because he got nervous and kind of pissed the crowd off.”

Zaleski eyes at September for his return to action after a controversial split decision loss to Muslim Salikhov a year ago in Abu Dhabi, and hopes Brown accepts to face him this time.

“I’ve asked for him once and I don’t know why it didn’t happen,” Zaleski said. “His style is aggressive and he loves to brawl. It’s kind of like my style, too, it’s what I love doing. It has everything to be a great fight, especially after what happened here [in Curitiba].

“Since he’s coming off a win [over Dhiego Lima], retired and came back, it’s only fair to make him my comeback and have him pay for what he did in Brazil. It wasn’t cool. He was a jerk to the Brazilian crowd and people would definitely love to watch this great fight, no doubt.”

Zaleski underwent surgery late last year to fix his right knee ACL and MCL and finally feels 100 percent ready to perform.

“If this fight really happens, if he doesn’t run this time, we’ll study him and brawl in there,” Zaleski said. “There’s no other option but a knockout [win for me]. That’s what he goes for and that’s what I go for, so we’ll go for the knockout from start to finish.”

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