Video interview with Itso Babulaidze above
The path to success in the cage can be nurtured in many different ways. You have your wrestlers, who already know about cardio and weight cutting. Jiu-jitsu practitioners, who transition with their striking is another common sight. There are your muay thai fighters, kickboxers, and boxers, who try to balance their skills out and add some ground game. Itso Babulaidze doesn’t fall into any of these “normal” situations.
Babulaidze migrated to the United States just four years ago from the Republic of Georgia with a dream. The 30-year-old started training mixed martial arts daily and, in that span, has finished his amateur career and now is 3-0 as a professional. On September 8th, Itso will take on Jimmy Drago (4-1) for the Ring of Combat Lightweight championship. ROC is one of the premier regional promotions in the country. It is a true testament of his determination and work ethic that Itso could be in the position he is now.
How did he get here?
I came here four years ago. First New York, then I settled in Philly. I live just a few blocks from the gym (Marquez MMA). I didn’t have wrestling, boxing, or jiu-jitsu. I told John that I want to fight. He said you train; you fight. So, I started training every day. And now I get to fight for my first title at Ring of Combat.
Babulaidze told MyMMANews when we visited him at one of his training sessions. Itso also tells us that he is very friendly with fellow Georgian and UFC star Merab “the Machine” Dvalishvili.
Please check out our interview on the link above. Babulaidze has such an amazing story and has nestled himself into a gym where there are multiple UFC fighters who are there to work on their games and help their teammates get better. He also feels the support from his Georgian community as they continue to have a positive impact on the sport at a regional and world-wide level.
Commentator for Art of War Cagefighting. More than 15 years experience in the PA/NJ regional MMA circuit. Commentator/post fight interviews. Television/media/event production. USKA Fight Sports media and production.
The story of the fighter is what Bob loves about the sport. From the lowest level, to the highest, he only cares about the two warriors who do battle once the cage doors close. Everything else is secondary. Without their blood, sweat, and tears, he would not be here enjoying every minute.