"I am very anxious. I can hardly wait for the time to put my hands on the Russian. If everyone is going through heat, imagine the Russian! He's coming from the cold, he's going to have a hard time here. I'm training hard to give a terrible "welcome" to him. He will not be welcome in Brazil. I am focused, I have never been so well trained. I'm feeling very confident for this fight." - Thiago Tavares via Sportv
With the Brazilian crowd behind him, Tavares remains confident the young Russian is due for a rude welcome to Brazil.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is currently on a two fight winning streak with victories over Spencer Fisher and Sam Stout, though he may have to battle some ring rust heading into the fight, as he's been inactive for almost a year.
He was last scheduled to face Dennis Hallman at UFC 151, but the event was famously cancelled. The bout was reschedule for UFC on FX 5, but Hallman failed to make weight the day of weight-ins, and the bout was scratched once again.