CFFC flyweight champion Phumi Nkuta is excited for the opportunity to notch another defense of his title, but make no mistake about it, that’s not the last belt he plans on winning.

“I feel like I was a champ before I even got the belt,” Nkuta said. “At the end of the day, man, the guys who work with me and the guys who came with me – Ray Longo, Steve Lee, Dennis Buzukja, the guys in the gym – they already know that I can beat the best flyweights in the world, that I could beat a guy like Brandon Moreno, that I could beat a guy like Deiveson Figueiredo.

“All these wins at this point, these matches at this point, are really just to convince the people in the UFC and the people in the crowd. That’s about it. We already know we’re there.”

“Turbo” certainly isn’t lacking in confidence, but it’s not just big talk. He claimed the CFFC title in just his third professional contest with a flawless decision win over Albert Trujillo in March. He then dominated a gritty Miguel Diaz before scoring a fourth-round stoppage to defend his belt in October, solidifying not only his position as champion but also his status as a blue chip prospect for the big show.

“When have you ever seen a CFFC champion go in there and not get touched like that for 20 minutes straight, twice in a row?” Nkuta asked. “You know, as far as 2021 was concerned, I’ve been in the ring for almost 40 minutes, and I’ve been touched zero times.”

He’ll try and extend that streak at Friday’s “CFFC 104: Torres vs. Bilder” event, which streams live on UFC Fight Pass from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in New Jersey. Nkuta (4-0) puts his title on the line in the co-main event against American Top Team’s Jason Eastman (7-3), who looked impressive in his promotional debut in September and then immediately called for a title shot.

“You can’t ever overlook your opponent, but I 100 percent believe that I am the better mixed martial artist in that cage,” Nkuta said. “I saw him fight. I know he’s tough. He kind of broke that kid pretty easily. I know he’s got good jiu-jitsu. I know he’s going to be tough on the feet. I know.

“He’s willing to take one, too, man. He’s able to take one. Far as I’m concerned, I’m going to give him exactly what he wants. You know what I mean? And a tough guy like Jason Eastman, I think that’s a perfect matchup for a guy like me so I can showcase my skills.”

While another title defense is certainly Nkuta’s goal, showcasing his skills is imperative, as well. The 26-year-old Serra-Longo product believes he’s ready for the big stage, even this early in his career, and he’s hoping to show UFC matchmakers that he’s got what it takes – both in the cage and out – to make his octagon debut in the very near future.

“I want to compete against the best guys in the world to prove I’m the best in the world right now,” Nkuta said. “Jason Eastman is the best 125er we can find outside of the UFC. He’s got a couple of finishes underneath his belt, couple of good wins. Tough guy. He’s a scrapper. He can grapple. He can strike. But come on, man. At the end of the day, man, I’m ‘Turbo’ Phumi Nkuta. I’m one of the best in the world, and I’m champion for a reason.

“Whenever I step in that cage, it’s always entertaining, and whenever I’m outside of the cage, when I’m on the microphone, come on baby – me and CM Punk, we kill it, baby.”

(This story first published at


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