Contenders 18 preview: Adam Boussif not afraid of going to ground with choke specialist Ylies Djiroun

Adam Boussif faces Ylies Djiroun at Contenders 18

Adam Boussif faces Ylies Djiroun at Contenders 18 - Credit: Archant

He may be fighting a man known for his guillotine choke, but Adam Boussif says he has no fear of going to the ground with Ylies Djiroun at Contenders 18 on Saturday.

Ylies Djiroun, left, holds the European title belt

Ylies Djiroun, left, holds the European title belt - Credit: Jerry Daws/stillfocused

The duo battle for the latter's European lightweight title belt at the Norfolk Showground in a main event which has got serious MMA fans talking.

Djiroun (11-4) has won six fights in a row, four by choke, and won the title with a nasty version of his signature submission, the guillotine, against Ninja Petley at Contenders 16 last September.

But despite the obvious danger posed by the French champion on the mat, Boussif, nicknamed Boa in honour of his own streak of choke stoppages – seven of his nine wins – isn't fretting about the floor.

'I'm not worried about going to the floor with him at all,' he said, speaking from the Basement Martial Arts Gym in Stevenage. 'I've trained with guys who are dangerous when you shoot for the takedown and it's always something that I've trained and been conscious of. I know the attacks and where you are vulnerable, so I have to know the defences as well.

'I've watched his last few fights and I pride myself on breaking down fights and opponents. Everyone is talking about him on the ground and all that, but I've got a few guillotine choke finishes myself!'

Conventional wisdom would suggest that Boussif, who sharpens his striking weapons at Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand, would have the best chance of victory if he can keep the fight standing.

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But the 27-year-old, who boasts a 9-5 record and has mixed it with the likes of Cage Warriors champ Chris Fishgold and UFC fighter Leon 'Rocky' Edwards, doesn't see it like that.

'Every fight I go into I'm fully prepared to go anywhere the fight goes, ' he said. 'Everyone is trying to break this fight down as a striker versus grappler, but that's not the way that MMA is these days. I'm 100% comfortable in all realms and I feel really good.'

In terms of predictions, Mousiff merely added: 'You'll have to watch the fight, I don't know what to expect. I'm going to go out and let it all go. I've got a lot to prove to myself and I feel like I'm only just starting.'

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