By Artur Przybysz – MMA fans will soon witness another of Mamed Khalidov’s fights in the Land of the Rising Sun. The KSW Team fighter recently visited Warsaw in order to undergo medical tests and for a photo shoot. Despite his busy schedule, he found a moment for a short interview, which you can read right here on GRACIEMAG.com:
You are going to fight for the second time in Japan on March 7th. At first there were talk that you will square off against Canadian Joe Doerksen. However, now you are set to rematch Jorge Santiago for the Sengoku Middleweight title. Could you tell us how that happened?
We were offered the Doerksen bout first and I agreed to it. Then it turned out they’d rather see me fightSantiago. I guess in the beginning the Sengoku matchmakers wanted to go in different directions, because I was offered a few other opponents earlier. Finally they decided to book a rematch against Jorge. Obviously I was very eager to fight him… this time for the belt.
We all saw what happened when you first met in the ring. How will this bout unfold this time?
Last time I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me, we just saw tapes. This time it might not be the same. He may be more cautious or I may behave differently. You cannot tell. I have a feeling that it won’t be as fast as in November. He already knows what to expect.
I really want this to end quickly with my hand raised by the referee. I’ve already started my preparations, whereas before our first fight I had only three weeks to get ready. I want to be fully prepared to win this title.
You mentioned short preparations before the first bout. Ramadan, meals only after dusk and limited training obviously didn’t help. This time will you be more comfortable coming into this rematch?
Sure! Without a doubt I’ll be better prepared than last time. Most importantly, I’ll be mentally ready knowing that I’m 100%. In October it came right after Ramadan, I was out of shape with only three weeks to train. It all happened so fast, weight cutting, not much time to prepare. I was wondering myself if I would be able to win. This time it’s much better.
Ok. So what will your training camp look like?
Training will certainly be more specific. Everything else is in God’s hands. I hope he’ll give me this strength, this power… this thing which he always gives me!
You underwent conditioning tests at KSW lab a few days ago. How was that? Are you satisfied with your results.
That’s right I underwent tests supervised by Michal Garnys. The results were much better than before the first fight against Santiago. I had a short break from training in the last two weeks, but it’s not like I wasn’t doing anything. You could see that in the results of the test.
Let’s get back to Santiago. You beat him on the ground, where he is most dangerous. Do you think that this time he may want to avoid going to ground and be willing to strike with you.
I have no idea. Before the last bout he was saying in interviews that he wants to stand with me and I was ready for it. It turned out that he didn’t want to trade strikes with me and decided to take me down. He made a mistake and I capitalized on it. It’s doesn’t mean that the second fight will be the same, I think it might be much tougher, honestly. I just hope it will be a great show and the fans will like it.
Many fans are curious as to whether there is a clause in your contract stating that once you win the title, you have to sign to defend it at least once?
First I’ll get the title, then we’ll talk about that.
To finish the interview I’d like you to ask you where the Sengoku Middleweight belt will be after March 7? Will it stay in Brazil or come to Poland?
Only God knows. He trains hard and I train hard, but we both can’t predict the outcome of the fight. I think we will both do whatever it takes to be victorious.