In Almaty, a private consideration of the participants of the M-1 Challenge 101 tournament was held, reports Prosports.kz.
In the main battle of the evening occurs the top Kazakh fighter Shavkat Rakhmonov. His rival on 30 March will be Danilo Prikaz from Russia, and the vacant welterweight title (77 kg) will be at stake. President of BE STRONG Promotion Anatoly Kim shared his expectations from the upcoming fight and also talked about negotiations with the UFC company.
It was recently announced that Rakhmonov received an offer from the UFC, but left in favor of a title fight at M-1 Global.
– Feels great because it's a dream. Every time we set new goals. Shavkat Rakhmonov is the youngest history champion among amateurs. Once, an 18-year-old boy, he set a goal, and he came to it. I remember his stance in St. Petersburg when he saw Libra for the first time and said he would fight in M-1 and be the champion. God grant that this dream comes true. The belt of the champion among the fans was then dressed by Fedor Emelianenko. That was his dream too. He probably had not expected such a quick start back then. Above all, he understands that there is still a lot of work ahead of us. He worked hard and I hope that tomorrow he will not fail and show everything he is capable of. In addition, our goal is further – this is the UFC, but we can never keep running, so we have refused to sign a contract with the UFC so far. Since everything has to be constant, you can not throw halfway. So it's essential for us to complete all dealings with M-1 and then move on, but Danil Prikaz is on the way. He will definitely not leave this path alone. We have to help him with this. We hope that everything works out.
– How hard was it to decide to reject the UFC?
– Of course it was a difficult decision. In fact, this is the first fighter from Kazakhstan to be offered a contract. It was the day of the battle – April 20, UFC Fight Night 149 in St. Petersburg. Neither I nor Asylbek Dyusenov have accepted responsibility for such a decision. Above all, we spoke with the personal trainer of Shavkat, Bayan Zhangalov and Shavkat himself. We were very pleased that Shavkat made this sober and balanced decision. We agreed that we need to finish what we started at M-1 Global, and we should not abandon the organizers and staff. You can not give up the title in one step – it's ugly. The title match is always a great control.
– How has your UFC responded to your refusal?
– with understanding. It was a spontaneous invitation. Everyone understands that the debut should be prepared in the UFC. This is a new level that should be seriously addressed. We explained all the reasons and made a little delay. I hope that if everything goes according to plan, we will return to this conversation in the autumn. Especially if Shavkat reaches the status of a champion, it will be more interesting for the UFC and other companies.
Shavkat Rakhmonov on the fight against the Order: I prepare for the full distance
– Most recently you started a collaboration with the manager Sayat Abdrakhmanov …
– Yes, we discussed these issues with Sayat. Thankfully, Sayat understands and understands everything. First, it is important that Shavkat himself was ready for the UFC. We all want him to fight there, but the last word is his. When it's done, we'll see it.
– In the battle of Shavkat and Danila every attention will be aroused, but in the main card will also occur a puncher Arman Ashimov …
– We understand that Arman is one of the most promising types in Kazakhstan. He was on the verge of winning the title, but no luck. He has recovered from injuries and is now returning. Of course, there are problems for every fighter, but he solves them with the help of coaches. We hope that Arman will justify all hopes and show a spectacular battle, but his opponent is not a gift. You can not blink in this battle. In general, all rivals are strong. I've always said that we need the M-1 belt because there's a lot of resistance here. We have to win the title in Kazakhstan. We understand that there is still no M-1 belt in Kazakhstan, not to mention the UFC. Arman Ashimov did not succeed, he took a temporary, the permanent failed. Now we have to return all this to our positions. When we achieve that, we are ready for the UFC.
The best moments of the fighting of Shavkat Rachmonov