Ali Al Qaisi and Jesse Arnett traded verbal blows ahead of their UAE Warriors trilogy fight at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Their first bout in July 2022 ended with Arnett securing the featherweight title by TKO when the cage-side doctor stopped the contest after Al Qaisi suffered a deep cut above his left eye in the second round.
The Jordanian “Royal Fighter” returned to the cage two months later, taking the title back with a third-round submission and is now determined to settle the score once and for all.
“I have beaten him once and I want to beat him more so he never returns for a rematch and never seek a title contest in this promotion again,” Al Qaisi told The National on the sidelines of the pre-fight conference.
“I wasn’t happy when the ringside doctor stopped the fight and awarded the win to my opponent. That’s behind me and I came back and proved that I was the champion. This time there won’t be another rematch. I’m going to finish him once and for all.”
Al Qaisi has won both his fights since losing his title to Arnett, beating the Canadian in the rematch last September before successfully defending his featherweight UAE Warriors Arabia belt against Egyptian Ahmed Faress on March 19.
“I have moved on and my focus is on my next opponent,” he said when asked of his fight against Arnett and beyond.
“We are in 2023 where life moves very fast. I don’t think too far but just focus on what I have to do next. I have worked hard and I come in good shape, and I want to finish this score with Jesse.
“My training and preparation haven’t changed. My preparations are planned according to the opponent I face. I always prepare as if I’m facing the best opponent in the world.
“Once I know whom I fight, then I start preparing for him. We have different camps to face different opponents. We have specific camps and specific training schedules. So, every fight is different for me.”
Arnett has not been in action since his defeat to Al Qaisi but insisted he’s in the best shape of his life to regain the title.
“I have come here to finish this guy off,” he said. “I’m going to knock him out this time. I have been too nice to this guy in the last two times but I’m coming in as the bad big cat against the bad Ali.”
In the co-main event, the vacant UAE Warriors middleweight title will be decided as Brazil’s Juscelino Ferreira takes on Amir Fazli.
The UAE Warriors Arabia 11 kicks off the double-header fight card at the Etihad Arena on Friday.
Lebanon’s Mohammad Osseili meets Egyptian Ahmed Sami while Iraq’s Hussein Salem and Tunisian Mohammed Sadok Trabelsi clash in a co-main event.
Also announced for this card, after a three-fight undefeated run in Bellator, top Moroccan-Dutch kickboxer Ilias Bulaid continues his MMA journey in UAE Warriors as he faces top Egyptian prospect Omar Khaled Fayoumi.
The UAE Warriors Arabia 11 and UAE Warriors 42 can both be watched live through UFC Fight Pass.