Javid Basharat is ready to break into the big time at bantamweight as he prepares to return to action this weekend.
It’s always tough to stand out in a division as stacked as bantamweight but if there’s one man who has the potential to become a breakout star in the next few years, it’s Javid Basharat.
The 27-year-old, who trains with Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, first made waves last October with a submission win on Dana White’s Contender Series.
Ever since then he’s been viewed as one to watch and now, after following it up with a comprehensive victory over Trevin Jones, he’s ready to step up to the next level by battling Tony Gravely on Saturday night.
In an exclusive chat with GiveMeSport.com, ‘The Snow Leopard’ let us know what fans can expect to see at the UFC Apex.
The next big thing?
“Every fight feels the same, to be honest with you. It’s not so much the occasion that gets to me, it’s more so how much work I’ve put in and making sure I don’t disappoint myself on fight night.”
“I’ve 12 fights and 11 finishes. I go in for the finish. Also, within those finishes I have five knockouts and six submissions. From that, you can see I’m a very well-rounded fighter, a mixed martial artist.”
It’s already been a strong week for the Basharat family with his brother, Farid, managing to earn a contract of his own – on the very same show that gave his older sibling the platform he needed to shine.
“He inspired me, you know? He showed me that okay, our hard work has taken us to the next level with our training and it’s my turn on Saturday. Our family is super proud and everything but the job isn’t done yet, I need to get my W on Saturday and then we can be happy and rest a little bit.”
Javid went on to speak candidly about how proud he is of his roots, being just the third fighter from Afghanistan to compete in the UFC.
“That’s what defines me as a person, where I’m from. I’m from Afghanistan and we know the situation out there, we know how tough these people are. I came from those types of circumstances, and I’m so grateful for England, they gave me a home. I grew up in England, 20 years in.
Creating a legacy
“I always carry that Afghan flag because that’s just how I feel, it’s the one I want to carry, but in terms of my love for the countries, I love both countries equally. I actually still live in England, I just come here [Las Vegas] for training, basically.”
It’s hard to look too far ahead in this game but as far as confidence goes, Javid is feeling pretty good about what the future has in store for him.
“In the next 18 months, I’ll definitely for sure be in the top five. I’ll be ready for the belt by then, 100%. Whether I get the title shot or not, you know there’s politics and what not, all of the stuff around it. But, I’ll be ready for a belt in 18 months for sure.”