“I think I could become the Australian freestyle wrestling champion.” UFC newcomer from Dagestan will fight against former champion

“I think I could become the Australian freestyle wrestling champion.”  UFC newcomer from Dagestan will fight against former champion

World combat sambo champion in 15 professional fights Ikram Aliskerov lost only once. Certainly, the UFC is now examining this defeat very carefully. In April 2019, Aliskerov went to fight Khamzat Chimaev and was caught in the chin with a very hard uppercut. Since then, Aliskerov says that he will no longer go down to 80 kg (his division is 84 kg, and between fights the weight rises to 101), and Chimaev calls him his most powerful opponent.

Aliskerov made his UFC debut in 2023, demolished his first two opponents by knockout and now replaces Chimaev in a fight with Robert Whittaker. He is 31 years old and says he is a student of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov’s students. Known for his fight with Conor McGregor, Esed Emiragaev once called him in the combat sambo section, and now journalists are talking with Aliskerov before his third fight in the UFC.

In order to fight Robert Whittaker, Aliskerov withdrew from the scheduled fight in Vegas, flew to Riyadh and began cutting weight again. Added to these problems is that of Robert Whittaker. He is a former UFC champion who has been through many tough fights and is ready to take Aliskerov to the next level.

— How did you react when you learned there would be a fight with Robert?

“I’m happy we were given this opportunity, and as soon as we accepted this fight, we immediately flew here.” I understood that there was a lot to do in the UFC to achieve such a name. Now there is such an opportunity and I will do my best to lead this fight. I almost reduced the weight to a minimum, did everything as planned, but then had to hold back for a week to be able to gain it back.

— You left the United States for this fight last Friday, and what weight did you reach when you underwent the weight cut in Las Vegas, and did you seek advice from anyone on how to get back through the reduction?

— I always reduce my weight to 89 kg before the last day and I did the same in the USA. My weight was 89 kg, but then [после объявления боя в Саудовской Аравии] I lifted him 2 kg, became about 91 kg and tried very hard to hold him. I didn’t ask anyone for advice because I know my body and how it feels best.

– Robert Whittaker said he would be the hunter in this fight.

“And I’m not used to being a casualty in combat, to being hunted.” I’ll get him myself and try to end the fight early.

— Whittaker holds the title of Australian freestyle wrestling champion. Do you respect this achievement and want to show him the struggle of Dagestan?

“I think if I went to Australia I could also become the Australian freestyle wrestling champion. But overall there is no disrespect to Robert Whittaker, he is a former UFC champion, I respect his skills and I respect him as an opponent.

— Are you in contact with Khabib and Islam Makhachev, did you receive advice from them before the fight?

“I called Khabib, we talked, but not just Khabib, the whole team supported me. They saw my mood, they themselves asked me how I felt and, seeing this, they supported me. Of course, the support of those close to you is very important and always gives strength.

– Israel Adesanya said Robert Whittaker would settle you in this fight. What do you think?

— Adesanya said the same thing about Volkanovski when he fought with Makhachev. Somehow they underestimate the Dagestan fighters. I think he’s wrong.

— Many believed that Khamzat Chimaev would become the UFC middleweight champion, but perhaps they should have looked in your direction, because over the past year you have simply experienced a meteoric rise. What do you think about it?

“The fact that the UFC entrusts me with fights like the one with Whittaker gives me great motivation, I even look at the comments on social networks. You rarely see such a comment that I supposedly can’t win – people support me. I just have to justify this confidence.

— Khamzat Chimaev called you the most difficult opponent of his career. Would you like a rematch with him?

— Any fighter probably wants revenge. You always want to test your strength. But now I think about this fight: I have to overtake my opponent and only look at the belt.

— Perhaps there was a message from Khamzat?

– No, we are not in contact with him, there has been no message from him.

— You had an open training session. Have the climate and air temperature in Saudi Arabia affected you in any way?

— I represent the KNK club from Bahrain, I often come here, I played a lot here, so there is nothing new here, I feel more comfortable here than abroad. Many relatives came to support me, so I feel very comfortable here.

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Source : MatchTV

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