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Anshul Jubli of India reacts after his victory over KyeungPyo Kim of South Korea in a lightweight fight during the Road to UFC event at Etihad Arena on October 23, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Anshul Jubli: ‘I Can Finish Him Everywhere’

Road To UFC Winner Anshul Jubli Makes Battles Mike Breeden at UFC 294: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 in Abu Dhabi

Road to UFC Season 1 lightweight winner Anshul Jubli makes what most consider his proper UFC debut this weekend at UFC 294: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2, where he squares off against Mike Breeden.

In February, Jubli defeated Jeka Saragih by TKO to win the Road To UFC lightweight tournament and earn a UFC contract. The win extended Jubli’s professional mixed martial arts record to 7-0.

“I’ve been winning for a very long time,” Jubli said. “I’ve won 13 amateur fights and seven pro fights, so winning is not new to me, but after the fight, when I met Dana White, that was special. Now we have started, now I am a UFC fighter.”

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Jubli is currently the only India native on the UFC roster and the second to compete in the 30 years of the UFC after Bharat Khandare, who last competed in 2017 against Song Yadong.

Anshul Jubli of India punches Jeka Saragih of Indonesia in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Anshul Jubli of India punches Jeka Saragih of Indonesia in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“It means a lot,” Jubli said of representing his country on the world stage. “Indian people are very patriotic people, they want to represent their country, they want to do something for their country, and in my career, I have this chance to represent India and I think that’s the most important thing for me right now.”

When Jubli first became interested in the sport of MMA, the UFC didn’t have dozens of elite fighters from India like it does with countries like Brazil and Russia, so Jubli didn’t know how realistic a career in the sport was.

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“I used to tell people that this can’t be a career in India,” Jubli said. “When you’re from a middle-class family, you just want to provide for your family, and with MMA [in India], you just can’t do that. Then I found my passion in this sport. All the time I was thinking about this sport, and I realized I’m in love with it, so I should give this sport a chance. In one year, nothing happened, after two years, nothing happened, but then four, five, six years later, we are here.”

Even though he’s reached mixed martial arts’ biggest stage, Jubli doesn’t feel any different outside of fight week than he did as an amateur still learning the basics of the sport. Jubli told during fight week that the biggest difference he’s noticed since winning Road to UFC is how often he’s recognized in public.

Jubli joked that not only do fans come up to him more often than before, but he has to dress nicer when he goes out in public to look the part of being a UFC fighter. But once he enters the gym for training, everything’s the same.

“Only during fight week do I think I’m a UFC fighter and a high-caliber fighter,” Jubli said. “Before that, in training camp, I’m like, ‘Can I do this? Am I good enough for this?’ Every fighter has their doubts because preparing is hard. When you’re preparing for your fights in camp and learning new skills, it’s not an easy thing. When all the preparation is done, you feel like you’ve done all the things [you need to] do. Whatever was in my control, I did everything right, with my food, with my training. My coaches say that I did that, so that gives me confidence.”

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At UFC 294, Jubli faces Mike Breeden, who’s trying to come back from three consecutive defeats since signing with the UFC in 2021. Despite those recent setbacks, Jubli gives him a lot of praise for the skills he’s shown in those fights. In that same breath, Jubli believes he’s a far more dangerous fighter and that he can finish Breeden wherever the fight goes.

“He’s very good, he’s very talented,” Jubli said of Mike Breeden. “I believe he’s good everywhere; his ground game is good, his striking is good. I’m better everywhere. I can finish him everywhere. I truly believe if this fight goes to the ground, I will submit him, ground-and-pound him. If we are striking, I will knock him out. I truly believe that.”

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UFC 294: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 took place live from Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE on October 21, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!