Undefeated Russian middleweight Sharabutdin Magomedov, better known as "Shara Bullet," will make his long-awaited octagon debut at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on October 21. His opponent is experienced Brazilian Bruno Silva, who had previously defeated Russians Alexander Shlemenko and Artem Frolov.Bet on MMA with 1xBet
In an exclusive interview with Telecomasia.net, Magomedov said:
- what fate awaits his opponent Bruno Silva;
- what is the difference between the approach of the UFC and Russian organizations;
- why criticism of his wrestling is inappropriate;
- whether he will enter the fight with a flag;
- what effect meldonium has;
- what he wants to play after beating Silva.
"Silva will be struck by my lightning"
– You turned down many potentially more profitable fights in Russia for the dream of competing in the UFC. How do you feel now that you're two steps away from fulfilling that dream?
– I'm very happy that I made it through that difficult time and chose this particular path. UFC is a real fighting corporation. A lot of organizations close down or have financial problems. I've dealt with that a lot in my career. I fought in China for a million yuan in an organization with a very good level, but later it closed down. Other companies have also closed down or struggled, like Fight Nights. RCC is at a good level now, but UFC is the best league in the world. It was worth it to spend this time and learn something for myself, to feel some hunger. In Russia I would make good money and a loud name. I was leaving the Russian leagues as number one. I need a new stage in my career and I'm happy to be here.
– How did the UFC welcome you?
I was given a UFC uniform, a whole bag of clothes. In Russia I fought in different organizations and federations, I was the number one of the national teams, but they haven't even given me a T-shirt, not to mention a cap. Here they dressed me up as well as my cornermen. You can see that people are interested in making sure you fight in your best condition. Special nutritionists can help if you don't have your own. Everything is held to a high standard and is aimed at making sure you perform well and show a beautiful fight.
– Your opponent Bruno Silva has never lost by knockout. Are you ready to be the first to knock him out in the cage?
– I don't want to make such strong statements. After all, I'm the people's champion and I'll keep my mark. I will say this: I have a bullet, and bullets are sometimes armor-piercing, so maybe my lightning will hit him and he will have nowhere to go. At least I have 15 minutes of combat to make him pierceable. We'll see how those 15 minutes go. It's interesting for me and the audience.
– Are you satisfied with the fact that you chose a puncher as your first opponent?
– I didn't choose him. UFC gave him to me, and I didn't hesitate for a moment, because I was looking for my chance. I was in Thailand for a long time, and as soon as I got the opportunity, I settled everything with the UFC, I accepted this opponent right away. I can send you a screenshot of the correspondence, where Ali Abdelaziz texted me about the opponent, and I didn't even watch his fights and said: "Go ahead. I'm ready."Bet on MMA with 1xBet
"Those who roll on the floor are avoiding the real fight"
– No one has ever seen you wrestle in a fight. Are you good at it? With whom of the strong fighters have you practiced it?
– In Dagestan there are a lot of people to work with. I had to work with all of them. Only my fights can tell about the level of my wrestling. Everyone says that I have a problem with wrestling, that I haven't met with wrestlers, but in all fights all my opponents tried to take me down. Even punchers became wrestlers and wanted to take me down, but I didn't see anyone succeed. If I get down, I get up, and that's the most important thing. According to the new international rules of MMA, it's not enough just to just take me to the ground to earn a point. So he took me down, and I'm not bothered by it. So he just took me down – so what? You have to dominate, hit, do damage – that's what I do in a fight.
I'm always doing damage, I don't focus on earning points. I hurt my opponents and make them feel it. Those who are rolling on the floor just to keep you on the ground are just walking away from the real fight and trying to save themselves by wrestling. A lot of my opponents tries to save themselves by wrestling, but none have succeeded. I was getting up, punching and winning. There were no questions about my wrestling in the fights. I've had 17 professional fights in MMA, and if my wrestling was weak, someone would be able to give me problems.
"I'll try to find the flag and give it to my cornerman"
– Have you thought about moving up to welterweight after signing with the UFC?
– I don't like massive and exhausting weight cuts. I like to fight. I understand that a weight cut is part of the game, but it should be done so you'd want to fight during an actual fight, and not eat a burger and wash it down with a coke, so I don't cut a lot of weight. I want to go out and fight in my best condition.
– Now many Russian fighters compare themselves to new champion Sean Strickland and say they would beat him without any trouble. Why is he so underrated even after beating a dominant champion?
– He has good technique and an interesting strategy in a fight, his style is uncomfortable. He's always pressing on, blocking all the punches and attacking. But look how he fought against our fighter Abus Magomedov. Look what Abus did to him in the first round. He did whatever he wanted to do to him, both in the stand-up and on the ground, he destroyed Sean. In the second round, something happened to his body, and he didn't lose to Strickland, he lost to himself. He couldn't fight anymore for some reason. He dominated in the first round, and in our fight it can all end in the first round.
– If you manage to beat Silva, do you expect a place in the top-15 or an opponent from the top-15 in your next fight?
Once I beat Silva, I expect to be featured in the UFC 5 game and play for myself in it. As for the tops, it's too early to talk about it yet. I always know that I will get what I want sooner or later. The main thing is to be able to be patient and wait. Patience is the key to success. What didn't work out now can work out in the next fight. It's been like that throughout my career.
– I once wanted to fight in the main card, and they put me in the prelims, but in the next fight I fought in the main card. Then I wanted to fight in the main event, but I fought in the main card, but the next fight I was already in the main event. It's the same here - I will move to the belt step by step.
– The UFC has once again allowed Russian fighters to bring their flags. Will you take the flag of our country into the octagon on Saturday?
– I will probably find the flag now and give it to at least one of my cornermen to carry it. I'm very happy that the UFC has allowed flags. I like the motto: "Keep sports out of politics." Sport is an ambassador of peace. I'm grateful to Dana White for running the organization that keeps politics out of the sport.Bet on MMA with 1xBet
"Meldonium doesn't have an effect enough to be considered doping"
– Your division also features another Russian, a spectacular puncher and Fight Nights star Roman Kopylov. Would it be interesting to fight him?
- I wouldn't say so. It's interesting to work with him in training, but in a fight you can meet a lot of other people. If I go through the entire roster, I can think about it, but there are plenty of interesting foreign guys. I fought with guys like Roman Kopylov in Russia. I think I'm past that stage.
– Your debut was postponed because you used meldonium, which is banned by USADA. Why did you need to use it? What benefits does this drug bring to an athlete?
– I wouldn't say it's particularly beneficial. It's just a cheap drug available in any drugstore. It helps a little when you have cardiovascular problems. It's used for coronavirus and other things. But it doesn't have enough of an effect to be considered doping. I didn't know at that time that I was going to fight in the UFC and I didn't think that USADA banned this drug. There is no doping control in Russian organizations.
– Its main issue is that it also takes a long time to get out of the body, which was a problem for many athletes when it was just banned.
– That was the problem, yeah.
– What do you think will be the outcome of the two main fights of the tournament - Islam Makhachev vs Alex Volkanovski and Khamzat Chimaev vs Kamaru Usman?
– To be honest, I don't have the energy to think about who will win there, because I'm focused on my fight. After the fight it will be interesting to see how things go. I hope that our fighters will have clean victories and there will be no "gifts" from the judges. But their opponents are very experienced and are always well prepared. We can expect anything."I Was Signed To The UFC To Fight Chimaev". Aliskerov Talks About His Opponents, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov And Top Fighters "Even Fighters Under 61 Kg Can Beat Pimblett". UFC Fighter Mokaev Talks About His Provocative Opponent, Conor And Pavlovich Battle For Potential Title Contender Status: Tsarukyan Finally Gets Top UFC Opponent