– You had the option to speak at the Moscow tournament. Why did you decide to take the fight in Boston?
– Officially, there were no proposals to participate in the tournament in Moscow. The managers said that such an option was being considered, and of course I would very much like to speak to the Russian public, but the UFC matchmakers chose another option. Perhaps due to the fact that Kelvin Kattar from Boston and our fight, the organizers want to attract more public to the tournament. In Boston, for the first time in my career at the UFC, a fight is planned for the co-main battle of the evening. So in fact this is not the worst way out of this situation.
– Calvin is below you, why did you agree to this fight?
– Refusing did not make sense, because all the higher rated rivals were already engaged in battles, Calvin was the highest in the ranking of the remaining free rivals. If he refused this fight, then theoretically they would have given an even less rated opponent. Or one would have to wait quite a while until the higher rated fighters recover from their battles. And I already had a long break after defeating Jeremy Stevens.
– How would you rate Calvin as a fighter? Three knockouts out of 5 fights in the UFC is a serious indicator.
– Yes, Calvin is a great drummer, with a powerful punch and it’s silly to underestimate him. I am interested in his style, I think we will get an interesting fight.
– Calvin is a native of Boston. The whole audience will cheer for him. Are you ready to upset them?
– Well, this is not my first time speaking in the territory of an opponent, and earlier this fact had no effect on my mood. There is no purpose to upset someone, there is a desire to win this fight and that’s it.
– You are now at a training camp in Thailand. Where will you prepare taking into account the fact that you already have the exact date of the battle? Do you plan to arrive in advance for acclimatization in the States?
– Yes, of course, with my coach Mansur Uchakayev, I will fly to the USA in advance in order to manage to work together with Mark Henry and Ricardo Almeida. This is our traditional scenario for preparing for battle, and, as I said earlier, America has fewer distractions for the final stage of preparation for battle. So at the end of August I already plan to fly to New York.
– On September 7, a tournament will be held in Abu Dhabi, in which in addition to Khabib many fighters from Dagestan will perform. Do you plan to visit him personally?
– If not for my fight, I certainly would have flown to the UAE. And in this case, this trip can knock out the training process. So I will root for our fighters in the distance.