The UFC welterweight division has been making a lot of noise as of late. With emerging stars such as Johny Hendricks, Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine complimenting Georges St-Pierre, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and Demian Maia, it has become one of the most well-rounded divisions in the UFC.

With such star power claiming the headlines within the division, it generally takes more than a couple of wins for a UFC newcomer to garner the attention of fans and media. One welterweight who is trying to get noticed through his performance both inside and outside the Octagon is Siyar Bahadurzada. Bahadurzada appears to be a combination of Chael Sonnen and pre-2012 LeBron James. With only one fight for the UFC, he is seemingly a legend in his own mind.

Bahadurzada’s Twitter handle is “@SiyarTheGreat” and he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to airing out whatever is on his mind. Take, for example, this gem that was posted on Jan. 4 about his current opponent, Dong Hyun Kim:

“Sharpening up the elbows for Kimmy! Since he refuses to know who I am, I’ll carve up my name on his forehead on march 3rd!”

It should be mentioned that Bahadurzada has around 10,500 Twitter followers, but just like Sonnen he doesn’t follow anybody on the social media service. To the casual fan that checks out his profile online he comes across as a self-righteous man with a nickname crowning himself as the greatest before he has won on the grandest stage–similar to what people thought of the NBA’s James. That perception of him changes as soon as he gives you a few minutes of his time and you learn about what drives the man. This can be seen here in an excellent interview conducted by The MMA Corner’s own Garrett Derr.

Bahadurzada’s words leading up to his fight against Kim on Saturday night shows that he realizes for him to become successful in the fight business he needs to position himself in such a way that fans will either love him or hate him; there is no middle ground. Whether he will be able to talk himself up the contender ladder in the same way Sonnen did by utilizing his outspoken manner remains to be seen, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

When is the last time you heard UFC President Dana White say something to the effect of, “We’re not giving him a title shot because he runs his mouth too much?” The answer is not very often, if at all. White loves it when somebody possesses the combination of being able to put on a show on fight night coupled with creating a stir in between fights. It’s the single most important reason Ronda Rousey is where she is today. Does anybody think she’d be as successful as she is now if she had a Rory MacDonald type of demeanor?

The UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann main card starts off with Bahadurzada vs. Kim. Bahadzurda loves to come out and try to put away his opponents early on. In his 21 professional wins, 15 of those have come within the first round. Kim, on the other hand, is on the other end of the spectrum with just three first-round wins. In fact, of Kim’s 10 UFC fights, seven have gone to a decision. It’s no secret that Kim will try to utilize his reach advantage and judo skills to slow down the explosive punching power of Bahadurzada. This is a classic example of a fight featuring two fighters with completely different strengths. It will be interesting to see if the Bahadurzada can stuff the takedown attempts of Kim to secure a win and continue his climb through the rankings.

Kim poses a huge threat for Bahadurzada for two reasons. For one, if he manages to smother Bahadurzada for three rounds and win a unanimous decision, it probably won’t be a very memorable fight. This would lead to the other concern for Bahadurzada. The welterweight division is looking great right now, should he not be able to get Kim off of him for three rounds and lose an unexciting fight, it would put him in a very vicarious position leading up to his next fight. String together a couple of flat losses and more than likely that fighter is being given their walking papers from the UFC.

Can Bahadurzada be the greatest? It’s far too early to tell, but a convincing win over Kim would certainly keep him on that path.

Photo: Siyar Bahadurzada (Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog)

About The Author

Joe Chacon
Staff Writer

Joe Chacon is a Southern California writer that has also spent time as a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, as well as a Staff Writer for Operation Sports. Joe has a passion for the sport of MMA, as well as most other sports.