Contenders make its return to London on September 3rd for the stacked from top to bottom, Contenders 33 card.
I took a trip down to Diesel Gym, to catch up with Shirzad Qadrian, who will be challenging for the Bantamweight strap when he takes on Contenders regular Diego Barbosa at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
Shirzad Qadrian 1-0-0 is an Iranian professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Bantamweight division, representing Diesel Gym & 10th Planet London. He is set to take his second professional walk to the Cage on September 3rd for Norwich-based organisation Contenders.
I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for inviting me to come down to speak to you today Shirzad, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming Bantamweight title opportunity for the Contenders 33 card.
“Thank you so much for coming here, brother. It feels so good to be challenging for the belt, also to be training at such a good gym like Diesel and 10th Planet London. With my friends, my coach and my wrestling coach, I’ve got it all perfect. I’m.so ready for this fight, I think I smash my opponent, I kill him. Before the bout I will speak to the paramedics on site because this is my plan, I’ll kill him one hundred percent.”
I hope your training camp has been going well in the build-up to your highly anticipated return to the cage?
“Yeah, for this fight it’s very different because I’m training every day, training hard. As I said, everyone here has been helping me, it’s an amazing feeling.”
While you prepare for one of your biggest tests to date, what has been your main focus in your preparations for your return to Crystal Palace?
“I’m an Iranian wrestler so wrestling is always my focus. If my opponents are a striker, or a wrestler it doesn’t matter because I’m a two-time wrestling champion for Iran. I can take down anyone, I can smash anyone, so my focus is to take him down and smash him.”
Your knowledge shows, from what I’ve seen today you have very intense high-quality wrestling skills.
“Haha, thank you.”
Many exceptional amateurs and well-rounded professionals have thrived under the Diesel and 10th Planet banner over the years, what does it mean to you to represent one of the biggest MMA Gyms in the UK?
“This is the best gym for me, it’s family and it feels like home to me. When I see everyone is happy here, this is more important to me than anything. This is the most important thing, my brothers and team being happy, it’s a great place to be.”
It’s a great feeling when you find the right place to train and be as close as I can see that all of you here are one big tight-knit community.
“Yeah, definitely. To feel like a family is number one.”
Title opportunities are what warriors strive for in their quest for Glory in the brutal yet exhilarating world of mixed martial arts, and the perfect compliment to all the phenomenal efforts put in on a regular basis. What did it mean to you when receiving the call that you’d be challenged to become king of your division at Contenders 33?
“It’s a very good feeling brother, this was my plan, it is why I came to the UK. I came here for the Championships and to smash through everyone in my division. It’s a tremendous opportunity for me because now I’m thinking my plan is in sight, I will smash everybody and kill everybody in my division, nobody is safe brother.”
You are setting out a path to be Diesels Chimaev.
“Hahaha, yeah I like that, Diesel’s Chimaev.”
You are set to take on one of the greatest fighters to have graced the Contenders cage in Diego Barbosa, having the opportunity to have witnessed you both in action I can guarantee it will be one of the most explosive bouts of the night. What do you make of Diego in the build-up to your highly anticipated meeting on September 3rd?
“I think he’s a very good fighter, I like him. He’s a good striker. He has more experience but he’s not on my Level, I’ll kill him so easily.”
Many exceptional bouts are rolling out day by day and many have been set in stone including yourself and your teammates. I for one can’t wait for fight night. Other than your inclusion on the night are there any matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing?
“I definitely look forward to watching all of my brother’s fights, they are all very good fighters. It’s gonna be a very good night, it’s gonna be a big show.”
I wish you all the best for September Shirzad its been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today and I hope the remainder of your camp goes well.
Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“Firstly, Thank you for travelling to interview me. I’m thankful to everybody that comes to support me, thank you to my teammates and coaches at Diesel and 10th Planet. and I have a message for the Bantamweight division, you can run but you can’t hide, I’m coming to smash everyone, nobody’s safe I promise that.”