Interview with Kurban Khizriev ahead of bantamweight title fight at Evolution Of Combat 8

Evolution Of Combat 8 is fast approaching. With an action packed card, bursting at the seams with talent, this is not the only thing to look forward to, come August 7th. For the first time in many, many months, the ingredient that has been sorely missed is making its comeback. Fans will be overjoyed to hear that their inclusion will be needed at the Morris Equestrian Centre in Kilmarnock.

Fight fans are guaranteed an action packed evening of pure unbridled MMA and a new bantamweight champion to be crowned. With such an array of talent to witness it’s going to be one hell of night.

The bantamweight title will be up for grabs in the main event of Evolution’s 8th consecutive event in the organisation’s history. Kurban Khizriev 4-0-0, will take on Reece McEwan 2-0-0, each fighter eager to taste bantamweight gold.

The last we saw Kurban professionally was back in 2016, in Dmitrov Russia at Dmitrov MMA: fight challenger vs Zaur Eldarov. Impressively ending the bout 3:18 in the very 1st round, after an amazing show of ground control pretty much straight off the bat, with an armbar finish, shortly after the ref called for the bout to commence.

Today, I caught up with Kurban, now with the Manchester Top Team, to discuss his upcoming bout, as well as the Russian “undefeated” powerhouses professional return after 6 years.

I appreciate you taking the time to speak to me today Kurban, how goes training? And how are you enjoying Scotland? 

“Thanks, everything is good, training is going well. We are preparing with the team for fights and  the experience of Scotland. I have never been. It will be the first time.”

You’re in for a treat, it’s such such beautiful country, with such an amazing history and captivating sights.

After such a lengthy absence from the professional scene, I bet it’s an amazing feeling to return to what you love. And what a glorious return, a chance at the vacant Evolution Of Combat bantamweight title?

“Yes, of course, I am very grateful to my coach Carl and the organization for this opportunity. I waited and prepared for a very long time for this fight.”

I’m looking forward to your return, I’ve been lucky to have watched your last fight. In my opinion, the sport is lucky to have you back.

Here is the link for Kurban’s last victory if anyone would like to get a glimpse of what’s to come to Kilmarnock, August 7th https://youtu.be/xNle5UCgXUs

By my understanding, your return was delayed by your bout with Mitch Dobbins 7-3-0 being unfortunately cancelled at rise and conquer 8, back in November 2019. Understandably this would be frustrating, due to all the effort taken to prepare. How do you feel about this occurrence?

“Yes, this is very bad when this happens, but during all this time there were many reasons and injuries due to not being able to fight.”

That’s a very professional way to look at it. These things can happen, but still must be very frustrating.

At Evolution Combat 8, you take on Reece McEwan. With similar records within the MMA world, it is a hard one to call indeed. Have you had a chance to do some research on his career?

“Yes, I watched his fights. He fills the cage very well and fights well in principle, he is good in all aspects.”

Agreed, he is a very well rounded fighter, I’m looking forward to your meeting in the cage. With similar record’s it is sure to be a closely contested fight.

With organisations constantly on the lookout for championship level contenders, if the night goes your way, would this be one of your goals? Or does the notion of defending at Evolution appeal to you more?

“I am ready for any opportunities, of course we will fight wherever we are offered without problems, this is why we train.”

I love your attitude mate, Evolution is an amazing organisation and I think you and your amazing character will be a fine addition to their ever growing roster.

A title, in any organisation, sends alarm bells ringing in and around the mixed martial arts world. With organisations constantly on the lookout for champion martial artists to fill their ranks. A win could possibly set one of these warriors up for research with other organisations, As both have shown amazing talent in their field.

Kurban is no stranger to the big leagues, he is the cousin to Aliaskhab Khizriev 13-0-0, who is set to appear on UFC fight night: Barboza vs Chikadze on November 28th, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, California.

I look forward to your bout and seeing more of you in the not so distant future. Do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance in Kilmarnock? And anyone you’d like to give a shout out to? 

“I want to wish the viewers a good viewing and thank you very much to my big team of coaches, Carl, Aaron, Lofty and the whole team who has helped, we are one big team!! And most importantly to all athletes to be without injuries, thanks to the organization.”

It has been a pleasure  speaking to you Kurban, I, for one am looking forward to your return. And I think you’ll be gaining some more fans with your visit to Scotland. As you’ve definitely made one in me.

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