LFA Prospect Youssef Zalal on Match with Josh Marsh, eyeing spot on UFC Roster
LFA 56 is set to take place this Friday, December 7th at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The main event features a bout for the vacant lightweight title, however, the main card features a match featuring two high-level featherweight prospects.
Youssef Zalal (5-0 MMA) is looking to make it 6 straight as he continues his undefeated streak when he takes Josh Marsh (5-1 MMA). The FactoryX prodigy is looking to establish himself as the best featherweight within the LFA organization but also looks to gain notoriety as he eyes a spot on the UFC roster. At 22 years old, Zalal is already making a name for himself as one of the most prominent prospects in the world.
“[Training camp] went pretty good, man. I’m pretty excited for this one, this one I feel like it’s different than the others. Like you said a lot of people hyping it up and all this and that, so you know, I’m ready to show people something they haven’t seen yet”. Zalal began telling FightBook MMA. “I’m cornering two UFC’s in a row, so that’s more motivating than the world so I’m pretty pumped for that.”
An Undefeated Record with all Finishes
All five of Zalal’s wins have come via a finish. With 4 submissions finishes and one second-round knockout, “The Moroccan Devil” has all the tools to end a fight wherever it goes. “See man, for me, man, I always try and impress myself you know, I never told myself that I’m a finisher or this and that as an amateur, but I still finished my amateur fights…I mean I don’t look for the finish, I just know that it will come if I really keep going.”
“So that’s why I just go out there and I just fight, man. I train with the baddest guys in the world, you know, some of the best guys in the world. For me, If I can do the stuff that I do in training then I know I can beat anybody in the world.”
Zalal vs. Marsh
Zalal will have to take on a very dangerous fighter in Josh Marsh who is currently on a 4-fight win streak of his own. The two combatants have been fighting under the LFA banner for a few years now, both racking up impressive wins of their own. Eventually, both men knew that their paths would cross.
“I mean everytime I fight, I always respect my opponents. I know that’s my toughest fight. That every fight I fight is my toughest fight. I know these guys can bring problems to anybody. I believe in myself, but you have to be real to yourself. I’ve seen the kid, he’s a strong kickboxer you know? Which is fine with me, you know I’m not worried about that because my background is kickboxing. And really, nobody has really seen my striking yet, to the fullest, besides my teammates and my coach. All the fights that I fought, they were never on T.V and they’re never on the internet. No one can really tell what I actually did. They see the finishes but they don’t see how I finished the fight.”
“To be honest, me and Josh Marsh should be fighting for the title “
“That’s the top guys. I mean we aren’t even ranked guys…I don’t really follow that. I’m here to fight, and [LFA] they know that exactly.” Zalal may be eager to fight for the title and rightfully so, but his true goal is to get the attention of the UFC. With mixed martial artist gaining more recognition than it ever has before, Youssef Zalal is looking for that UFC contract that knows can change his life.
“I really don’t care about the title anymore to be honest. All I care about is getting my UFC contract you know, that’s where I’m headed. If that doesn’t come then [LFA] knows who’s coming for that belt.”
Speaking exclusively to FightBook MMA, Zalal explained that he has a good feeling about December 29th. That date is headlined by a massive UFC 232 card which is headlined by returning Jon Jones and light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustaffson.
Training out of FactoryX, Zalal is constantly surrounded by high-level talent. His teammate and close friend, Chris Gutierrez just recently competed on The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale card, where he was chosen as a short notice fighter taking on Raoni Barcelos. He hopes he can have the same opportunity to compete.
“It will be a finish. I can guarantee that. It will be a finish.”