Gamzat Hiramagomedov: “Mineev has refused to fight me twice - Fight Nights decided to save their golden boy”

This year the middleweight division of the ACB League was replenished with a number of very strong title contenders. A young prospect Gamzat Hiramagomedov (3-0) is one of them. Now he is mostly known for his successes in amateur sport, but the athlete is determined to break into the title race and make a statement to the MMA community. We’ve talked to Gamzat about his strategy, his views on life and sport, as well as about his potential opponents.

“I have already achieved everything I’ve wanted in amateur sport – became a two-time world champion in MMA and earned a title of master of sport in Sambo and in Muay Thai. My next goal is the ACB belt, and then we will see. I am now completely focused on my professional career, I’m ready to fight anyone.

I asked the league for a debut fight against Vyacheslav Vasilevsky, and it was not some PR move. I'm really confident that I can overcome him. You should never have any doubts about yourself – how can I not believe in myself if I work my butt off in the gym every day. That is why I’ve said it before and I will repeat it now - I'm willing to fight anybody, be it Vasilevsky, Duraev or even Mineev.

I’ve called out Mineev for a bout twice - and both times he didn’t answer me anything. He obviously didn’t want to fight me, but he couldn’t say “no” and feared to say “yes”. I will not claim anything, but I think if he was ready to fight me, he would have agreed without demur. It was him I was interested in fighting against in Fight Nights, but they stubbornly lingered with signing a contract for the fight, so I decided to move to the ACB league. I believe that Fight Nights are truly saving their “golden boy”.

I plan my debut in the ACB on January or February. Now I’ll take care of my old injuries, return to the gym and will train hard. I’m not even thinking about the opponent - they're all the same to me. I do not divide them into strong and weak, I just enter the cage to win! And I try to do it as tougher as possible!

I believe that now it is not enough just to enter the cage. The fans should love you and look forward to your fight. It's nonsense what everyone is saying that in Russia it is not common to chat before the fight. I’ll always be saying what I’m thinking. And it does not mean that I do not respect my opponent. This person has already decided to go into the cage with me and fight to the end. I say this not because I want to scare him. This is psychology. I think so, and he thinks the same way. So why can I not tell what's on my mind?

And if somebody will say something about me, I won’t take him out into the woods or threaten him. Such things are left somewhere in the past. It is time to grow up, this is my job, this is my career, so I would have done without nonsense. I would just quietly wait till we enter the cage, and there I’d show who’s the boss, and would make him take his words back with my actions.

I am sure that many people will assume that I’m wasting my breath, but, as I’ve said, I do not care about anyone's opinion. I came here to win, and in order to do that I have to be honest with myself and with the fans.”

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