Fighting in the UFC is a dream come true for undefeated M-1 Challenge middleweight champion Artem Frolov (11-0-0, M-1: 8-0-0), who will make his UFC debut September 15, fighting on the UFC Moscow card at Olympic Stadium in Moscow.
Frolov recently agreed on short notice (2 weeks) to replace injured Omari Ashkedov against veteran American fighter C.B. “The Doberman” Dollaway (17-8-0).
Fighting at home in Russia, the 26-year-old Frolov won his M-1 Challenge title belt last October, when he took a unanimous decision from Caio Magalhaes at M-1 Challenge 84. This past June at M-1 Challenge 93, Frolov made his first and lone title defense to date against Joe Riggs, who suffered a knee injury that led to a doctor’s stoppage in the second round.
Yesterday, Frolov sat down for a one-on-one interview:
How long have you working on a deal to sign with UFC?
AF: “My manager has been working on signing me with the UFC for a while, but until the last few days, we had no solid agreement. A few days ago, they finally offered me a contract and asked to step in to replace an injured fighter at UFC Moscow.
“I thought it over and decided it was a great opportunity to join the UFC, which I did not want to miss. I would not say this contract was a surprise for me, people have been working on it, so I was ready.”
How does it feel to sign with UFC?
AF: “I’m excited to sign with the best promotion in the world, but I know that my debut fight won’t be easy, I’m stepping in on a short notice just two weeks before the show. I was going to defend my belt in M-1 Global in a couple months, so now I need to cut weight fast. The most difficult thing is not just to cut weight, but afterwards to recover well. In the UFC, IVs are banned and you have to be extremely careful with supplements you take to recover.”
What shape are you in for this fight considering only two-week’s notice?
AF: “I was preparing for a fight in M-1 Global, so I’m in good shape. We are going to work on my speed now but first, I have to cut weight. Once in my career I took a fight on a short notice, I had three weeks to prepare and I won that fight by TKO in the second round.”
What do you know about your opponent, C.B. Dollaway?
AF: “I’ve seen a couple of C.B. Dollaway’s UFC fights, but I have never considered him as my opponent, so did not pay too much attention to him. There are many good fighters in the UFC, so I can’t say that I know a lot about my opponent. We don’t have not enough time to concentrate on him, so we’ll concentrate on me.”
When do you feel you can challenge the top UFC fighters in your weight class?
AF: “I’m not going to demand huge fights with the top opponents in the UFC. I’ll take my time and be ready to fight any opponent they’ll give me. I need time to get used to new conditions, tune up my preparation, and put in order the whole system and then I will be ready for any challenges.
“Everything is in our hands; nothing is impossible. If someone wants something badly, sets a goal and works hard to achieve it, he or she will succeed. I’m just a regular guy who had a dream to fight in the UFC and I made it. Dream big, set goals and achieve them!”