Damir Ismagulov make his UFC debut tomorrow at UFC Adelaide against Alex Gorgees, but first the fighter from Kazakhstan speaks with MyMMANews.
First of all, congrats on signing with the UFC! Were you surprised in any way when you got the call up to fight in the biggest organization in the world?
I wasn’t surprised to get a call from UFC, because I was going towards this direction and the only question was when it will happen. I think it’s normal for any mma fighter to have a goal to sign with UFC. Me and my team did a good job and made it happen.
How did you get into MMA?
I got into MMA by chance, I went with my friend to training and got beat up, it made me angry so I started coming back until in competition I defeated the guy who was giving me a beating before. After winning different amateur competition I decided to try the pro career.
Being on short notice how is the weight cut going to 155?
I was planning to move down to 145, so I was controlling my walking weight and cut to 155 will be easy even on short notice.
What’s your go-to meal after the weight cut usually?
After weigh-ins, I usually start with soups and porridge, after a few hours I eat meat.
Who are you currently training with and who are some of your main training partners? Also, who will be in your corner for this fight?
Currently, I’m training in Orenburg and having fight camp with fighters from different disciplines, who can strike and wrestle with me. My head coach, my brother, and my manager will be in my corner, all of them my close people who will support me during the fight.
What song are you gonna be walking out too?
There where no Kazakh songs in UFC before, so I will be the first one to walk out to Kazakh song it’s a wish from the elderly from my village.
What has been the low of your career and what has been the high other than signing with the UFC?
When I injured my big toe in a fight and almost lost it, I thought I will never fight again, but after 6 months I was able to compete. The high is when I won M-1 global belt.
Explain a normal day in the life of Damir Ismagulov
Nothing special, when I have free time I like to play soccer or go to the cinema.
This is your first fight in Australia, correct? Where else in the world would you like to travel? Is the US the ultimate goal?
Yes, this my first visit to Australia. In the future, I would like to fight in Brazil, USA and maybe in some countries in Europe.
Your fighting Alex Gorgees. How do you think you match up with his and how do you see this fight playing out?
For me it’s unknown as a fighter and opponent, I watched some tape of him and I will discuss the game plan with my team and I will try to feel him out In the cage to decide how to approach him in the fight.
You were set to fight veteran Joe Duffy. Is that a fight you possibly want next after this one?
Yeah I really wanted to face Joe Duffy, he is very strong and experienced opponent and it would have been a great challenge for me especially on a short notice, I want to face him in the future, but I also plan to move down to 145 so I don’t know if this fight will happen or not. But if he will agree I would love to share the cage with him.
Last question, what should the fans expect in your UFC run?
Before, fans were just expecting to see me in UFC, now I want to show them smart and beautiful fights and I will do my best to not disappoint my fans.