With the now ex-champion of the ACB Bantamweight champion talked to Regan Rakhmatullin.
- You wrote in social networks that immediately after your last fight you contacted the UFC. That is already before it there was a thought that you won't remain in ACB and you will aspire to transition to UFC?
- Such thoughts were though it was necessary to wait for the new offer from ACB. And they did, they said, it was the best conditions that ACB offered to anyone. But I thought I'd conferred and still want to continue to a new place. Still, the new place makes you train harder, makes you grow and prove yourself to more people. And in ACB, I think, I already proved myself, having carried out seven duels, and all of them were colorful. Thanks to them, I have a large fan base and recognition.
In any sphere, everyone wants to enter the top League. In MMA today, she is the UFC. I recently watched a battle of guys in my weight Cody Garbrandt - T. J., Dillashaw and caught fire.
- Your transition to UFC is a done deal?
- They were already ready to give me a fight for three months, but we reported a trauma. As soon as I recover, we will sign a contract. They guaranteed this with a probability of 99%. It is clear that no one can give a one hundred percent guarantee. UFC are interested in me. How to sign a contract - so in a couple of months I will make my debut in this organization.
- From other promotions in the proposals was not?
- They were not. Even if they were, I would not even consider them. In that case, I would just stay in the ACB.
- The fact that you go to the operation was understandable even before the battle with Mattos?
- Yes. This injury I received during the last training camp, tore cruciate ligaments, my knee flew out. However, I did not want to withdraw from the fight, I thought I was just getting pretty good. Before going to the fight, we kneaded the knee, but the new medical commission of the ACB asked him to withdraw, as under the new rules it is impossible to hold a duel with the teip.
At that moment I stood and thought about how to be now. But he said to himself: "If you decided to fight, do not give back, go and fight." Therefore, the task was to fight and win as quickly as possible.
- Did the sore knee cause a lot of discomfort during the fight?
- There was no discomfort. Mattos himself, his wife, his manager looked at my stories in Instagram, and on many of them I was in the knee. Therefore, one time he kicked me on the injured knee, and I immediately changed into a left-sided rack. But it's okay, I controlled everything, everything was clear.
- How long does it take to recover?
- 6-8 months and I will already train on MMA.
- How are you going to spend these 6-8 months not to "rust"?
- After the operation, a month passed. In two weeks I'll start to swim a little, work with a rehabilitologist, develop a knee. I will also develop the upper shoulder girdle more. While this does not prevent the corset on the knee. And so I'm in shape, on crutches I go up to the 7th-9th floor (laughs).
- Many fans think that you took such a pause before the debut in the UFC in order to clean from doping. What can you answer them?
- I already spread this answer. The one who thinks so is simply stupid. I had a serious injury.
- Did you have any doubts about staying in ACB or not? And were there any new challenges for you in this promotion?
- There were no specific doubts. Perhaps, be conditions of a few others, maybe, and would remain for a couple more fights. But for me there is nothing new in Magomedov, there is nothing new in Borisov. I do not consider them any supernatural fighters. Under all you can find the keys. I consider myself a smarter fighter than they are.
- Did you discuss the issue of leaving the ACB with Mayrbek Khasiev?
- No. I talked with the president of the league of Yaragi Gitaev. Several times with him called up about this.
- What was the tone of your conversations?
- Quite normal. They needed my answer whether I would continue to speak in their organization. It is clear that my leaving ACB for them is a loss, loss of the champion. But everyone understands perfectly well, we are all ambitious and want to move on. Therefore,I think I will represent our country on another continent and will break in there.
- Also in sots.setyah you wrote that if you return to Russia, it's only in ACB. But have you heard Khasiev's long-standing words that for those who left the ACB in the UFC - there is no way back?
- I heard. In principle, his position is clear. But never mind. No, no, we're moving on. I don't see the point in going forward and looking back.
- With what feelings do you leave ACB?
- Only with positive. I believe that ACB in Russia is worth more interest. And again: Borisov will win, boys.
- Just wanted to ask about his fight. Now the belt of ACB in the bantamweight is vacant and it will be played by Borisov and Kerimov. Who will win and why?
- It seems to me, Borisov will win. Kerimov has good translations, ground-and-pound, but a weak stroke, little experience. Oleg has just more experience, and the stance is better.
- Do you have no fear or fears that you will make your debut in the UFC immediately after a long downtime, injury?
- No. Before the revenge with Magomedov I had a break in nine months. If you are a fighter, you should not rely on it. Yes, perhaps, some qualities are lost during the downtime, but I do not pay attention to it. For me, this is a psychological weakness.
- And the last. For the first fight in the UFC, do you want an opponent from the top 10-15 or, perhaps, someone to warm up?
- Now I'm on the 24th place in the world rating. Higher than most of the UFC guys in my weight. Matchmakers of the UFC said that if I sign, then I will immediately give a fighter at least from the top 15-20. I replied that I had no difference, let's at least top-5, I'm for.