Sadibou Sy understands that a lot of fans in the United States may not know his name — at least not yet anyways.
The Swedish mixed martial artist has been anxiously awaiting his opportunity to compete in the U.S. not only to face a new level of competition in his career but also as a chance to show a bigger audience what he can do.
Now Sy will compete as part of the inaugural Professional Fighters League season as he joins the middleweight division with his first fight taking place on Thursday night airing live on Facebook ahead of the main card airing on the NBC Sports Network.
On paper, Sy is one of the lesser experienced fighters in the field as well as a bit of an anonymous name when compared to some of the athletes with experience in the UFC, Bellator MMA or World Series of Fighting.
None of that really bothers Sy because he plans on leaving such an impression that everyone will want to watch him from now on.
“I’ve been waiting for that opportunity to be honest,” Sy said about competing in the U.S. “I love Sweden and I love fighting in Sweden but if you are a mixed martial artist, I don’t think it’s possible not to have dreams or desires to fight in the U.S. I’m so excited for that. I have eight mixed martial arts fights but I have maybe 70 fights in kickboxing and Muay Thai.
“I don’t consider myself an underdog. I see myself as a guy that’s fighting and I’m only focused on that opponent. If I do what I know I can do, I’ll come out victorious and hopefully with something spectacular and then I’ll go onto the next fight.”
Prior to joining the PFL, Sy is probably best known for a viral video in 2016 when he faced off with British fighter David Round as part of Superior Challenge.
That night, Sy put more than a few jaws on the floor after Round started taunting him by dropping his hands and asking for a head kick. Sy responded with exactly that as he demolished Round with a kick that put an end to the contest in the opening round.
The highlight along with Sy’s extensive background in kickboxing will definitely have him pegged as a striker going into the PFL season but he promises there’s more to his game than just standing and trading with his opponents.
“I really do believe in my abilities,” Sy said. “I believe I have what it takes to out strike anybody and what I do love about this sport is anything can happen. It’s not in like boxing or Muay Thai, the favorite usually wins. In MMA, things turn quicker in other combat sports. I believe that I have everything that it takes and I think that my style is going to be tough for my opponents to handle.”
Sy will have a golden opportunity to prove that on Thursday night when he takes on UFC veteran Bruno Santos as part of the middleweight division in the PFL season.
Santos is well known for grinding opponents into the mat with a suffocating style that doesn’t typically allow for many highlights.
In a strange way, Sy welcomes that kind of matchup because it will force him to showcase exactly what he can do in his first fight in PFL while hopefully setting the stage for what lies ahead for him this season.
“He’s a shorter guy, I’m one of the taller guys in the division. Just by sheer physics, he has to close the distance to be able to win. Of course I know he’s going to try to close the distance and he’s going to do what he can to take me to the ground,” Sy said. “For me, I welcome it because I believe after this tournament, people are going to see me as a well rounded mixed martial artist.
“After this season, people are going to know that I’m a complete mixed martial artist and not just a striker who knows takedown defense.”