The UFC and Bellator veteran got some revenge against Taylor after losing a majority decision to him in 2020. The win also ended a week wrought with tension between his team, which includes UFC star Nate Diaz, and Taylor’s squad with the Bodyshop gym led by Bellator featherweight champion A.J. McKee.
A pre-fight altercation between the two teams had Avila contemplating a potential boxing match against McKee. But he’s much more interested in the Fury fight because he knows that matchup will take him further in his boxing career.
“That Bodyshop team, they’re no good,” Avila said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Let’s be honest. The only person out of that is that [A.J.] McKee dude, and I would say that I’d want him next, but who knows if he would even show up. That guy said it would be on sight the whole time out in Tampa Bay with his whole team, and every time we ran into those guys, they were scared. It was pretty funny. Those guys didn’t want no smoke. I would say they can all get it, but I don’t even know if they would show. I’m kind of done with that team.
“I think that’s the fight [against A.J. McKee] they should make or if not, it’s all good. I’m gunning for the Tommy Fury fight. That’s the kind of fight that would excite me right now. Him or A.J. McKee, but I’m gunning for the Tommy Fury fight next.”
Fury was originally scheduled for the main event against Paul, but the younger brother of heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury suffered a rib injury and illness that ultimately forced him out of the fight.
Since that time, Paul took to social media to say that Fury nor anyone from his team have contacted him about potentially rebooking the fight, which makes it seem like he’s for now moving on from that matchup.
That’s why Avila is ready to swoop down and take the Fury fight, especially after they both beat the same opponent in Taylor in recent months.
“You see what I did to my opponent, that was just light work for me,” Avila said. “The fight between him and Tommy Fury, I had Taylor beating Fury. Fury is just overrated. I think I can expose that guy. Who knows if that guy is even going to fight either.
“I think I’d smoke Tommy in a [boxing match]. I know I can smoke Tommy in a fight.”
While Fury is the fight he wants most, Avila isn’t opposed to drawing McKee in a boxing match if Bellator would allow their featherweight king to test himself in the ring. He is hesitant to pull the trigger on any matchup involving the Bodyshop team after he claims they refused to engage with his crew, led by Diaz, along with current UFC fighter Nick Maximov and former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields.
Avila said the demeanor of the Bodyshop team was best defined by the video clip that went viral from the event; Diaz lunged at one of their fighters while faking a punch and he flinched so hard that beer went flying out of his hands.
“That’s so funny,” Avila said when reacting to the video with Diaz. “That Bodyshop team, they were scared. They just had eyes down. They were talking in interviews saying it was on sight. Ran into them plenty of times out there and every time they’re flinching out of their shoes. That guy’s beer went flying. It was pathetic.
“That’s why I’m not going to keep calling out that guy in a fight cause he probably wouldn’t even show up. That team’s a joke. We’re the realest team out there by far.”
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