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Alexander Yakovlev Says He Isn't Worried About Demian Maia's Grappling
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 05.30.2014



Alexander Yakovlev spoke with MMAjunkie about his fight with Demian Maia this weekend. Check out the highlights:

On taking the fight with Maia: "I was supposed to fight Yan Cabral on May 10 in Ohio, which would've been extra exciting since my K Dojo teammate Albert Tumenov was on the same card and it was in the U.S. But when they suddenly asked me to step up to fight Maia, my coaches and I thought it was a great opportunity. We agreed that I have the tools and experience to beat him, and so we gave them an enthusiastic ‘Yes!' We could have turned it down, of course, but that was never really a consideration in this case."

On beating Paul Daley in November: "After defeating Daley, my desire to move to the highest level reached its extreme. I could no longer see myself anywhere except in the UFC, nor I did want to fight at any level below it again."

On Maian's submission skills: "I am confident we've addressed any holes in my game from previous fights. I have been training with some of the top grapplers in the world and working hard on my ground game since those losses, so no, I don't think he's going to find any weakness to exploit there."

On his training camp: "During my camp at K Dojo Warrior Tribe, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Coach Murat Keshtov and received a lot of individualized attention, and I have gained a fresh perspective on this sport we call MMA. I have a new appreciation for what is possible – that limitations on this game are not truly known, and we can keep pushing through them, keep learning, keep adding newly developed weapons to our arsenal. For every body type, for every shortfall, for every opponent's advantage, there is a perfect weapon, a solution, an antidote, a strategy. Being at K Dojo Warrior Tribe has opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities. I think in more typical camps, you grind the grind. You train the physical and technical aspects of the game, but not so much the mental and strategic aspects."

On his 2012 rap video: "Rap is an outlet for my alter ego, more than anything else – for the Bad Boy! Honestly, I am more of a good guy – a good guy who fights ruthlessly."

On his strategy: "I cannot talk about my strategy, but part of the plan is to bring a thrilling fight with non-stop action and pressure. I want to not only prove that I belong in the UFC, but that I belong at the top of the UFC. Thanks to this fight with Maia, I have a rare opportunity to really drive that point home in my first UFC event. I can't wait."





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