Meryem Uslu has waited six years to exact her revenge on Iman Barlow.
Her patience has been worth it. The opportunity has come and there’s much more on the line this time around.
Uslu will challenge Barlow for her Lion Fight women’s super bantamweight title on Friday, Feb. 3 at Lion Fight 34. The bout is the co-main event of the card taking place at the Tropicana Resort Casino on the famous Las Vegas Strip, and will air live on both AXS TV Fights in the United States as well as Fight Network throughout Canada, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
With a whole lot at stake, Uslu is better prepared for the return engagement than the initial encounter.
“This time I have to win. I am motivated to bring the belt to Germany,” said Uslu, who lives in Hamburg since moving from her native Turkey.
“My coach and I have a game plan, so we will see on Feb. 3rd if it works. Our first fight was really good. Iman is a technical, strong fighter. She pushes forward and puts you under pressure. It was a hard fight and I really enjoyed it.”
The first time they clashed, England’s Barlow took the victory on points. However, both fighters believe their second matchup could result in a much different finish. Barlow previously stated that she is putting more emphasis power punches and eyeing more convincing results rather than leaving the outcome in the hands of the judges. Uslu, too, wants the rematch to be decided by the two fighters, not the judges. If it goes her way, Uslu would not only get her revenge, but also rip the title belt from Barlow.
“My strength is my hard punches. I will bring my punches at the right time for a knockdown,” said Uslu. “I am a complete fighter and always good for some surprises in a fight.
“When she is focused on finishing me, she could make a lot of mistakes. But, Iman is a Muay Thai machine, so it will be a really hard fight.
“If I can beat her it would be the best fight and the best win in my fighting career. The Lion Fight title is huge. I think it would be a big dream come true.”
Over a 74-fight career, Uslu has managed some impressive results including 16 of her 62 wins coming via knockout. She claimed her first title in 2010 by capturing the WKN crown, and two years later, added her second championship with the IMC title. In 2014, she claimed a pair of titles just one month apart in China and Australia.
Now the most significant title of her career is waiting for her to snatch it and the opportunity comes in the fight capital of the world.
“I am so excited to be fighting for one of the biggest Muay Thai events in the world,” said Uslu. “All of my fights are really special to me, but coming to Las Vegas where all the big names have fought makes me feel very honored. This fight means a lot to me.”
Topping the Lion Fight 34 card alongside the women’s super bantamweight title bout is a showdown for the super middleweight title as Regian “The Immortal” Eersel defends his belt against Dewitt “DC” Pratt.
Tickets for Lion Fight 34 are available at http://www.troplv.com/las-vegas/shows-entertainment/lionfight-34 and at the Tropicana Las Vegas Box Office.
The Lion Fight 34 main card will air live on AXS TV Fights with a start time of 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. with commentary from renowned duo “The Voice” Michael Schiavello and UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich.