Trainers Comment On Increase Of Dagestani Fighters In MMA
Posted by Joseph Lee on 06.10.2014
As Ali Bagautinov gets ready for a flyweight title fight...
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Ali Bagautinov's (13-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) trainer Greg Jackson (among others) spoke about his upcoming flyweight title fight with Demetrious Johnson (19-2-1 MMA, 7-1-1 UFC) and the general increase of Dagestani fighters in MMA. The two will fight at UFC 174 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver. If Bagautinov can win, he'll be the first Dagestani ever to be a UFC champion.
Jackson on coaching Dagestani fighters: "For one, they have a great tradition in sports. Even in the Soviet Union days, the Soviets pulled most of their great wrestlers from that region. The culture there in Dagestan is very feisty. They'll fight at the drop of a hat, but they're also very technical because they have this great tradition of wrestling. They come coachable, with a lot of competition experience."
Coach Murat Keshtov on why Dagestani fighters are successful: "It's a very strategic point. A lot comes and goes. Invaders come and go. The local people there were fighting off the Tatars, Genghis Khan times. Then the Russians came from the north to take over. They fought them for 100 years. … Eventually it becomes part of your culture without you realizing. If you're a man there, especially, you have to be a fighter."
Bagautinov on possibly winning the belt: "That's my dream. For me, it's something that I was looking forward to, and step-by-step I was going toward it. It's going to be a final focal point of what I have been working and training toward for the last 15 years."