Blagoy Ivanov is confident he will earn his first UFC finish this Saturday night when he battles Augusto Sakai.
Ivanov is coming off a split decision loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in a fight he thought he won. It was a disappointing outcome for the Bulgarian as a win over “The Black Beast” would’ve changed his career.
Now, Ivanov is looking to return to the win column against Sakai in a fight he believes will be exciting for the fans.
“I’m excited about this. I’m ready to go,” Ivanov said to BJPENN.com just four days before his co-main event fight. “His style is good and it’s an attractive and good fight.”
Entering this fight, Sakai is a perfect 3-0 in the UFC, but for Ivanov, he’s confident he’ll hand the Brazilian his first loss in the promotion.
Ivanov knows Sakai is not on his level and plans on bringing him into deep waters.
“I have more experience and that will be the key in this fight. He’s never fought the top guy like me,” Ivanov explained. “I’m taking him into deep waters and he better be ready. His first loss in the UFC is coming on Saturday.”
For Ivanov, he knows Sakai won’t be able to knock him out as he has proven he can take a punch. But, he’s confident he knows how to beat the Brazilian and will exploit the holes in his game.
“He will try and stay away from me along the cage so I don’t wrestle. I have a few tactics in mind but I’ll keep that secret. Everyone will see on Saturday,” he said. “This is a huge fight to win. Sakai is still in the top-15, so a win here should put me in the top-10.”
Ivanov, who normally trains at AKA with the likes of Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez was forced to stay in Las Vegas for the lead up to his co-main event scrap. Yet, he says it worked in his favor as he got to be the main training partner for Francis Ngannou.
So, after spending countless rounds with Ngannou, Ivanov’s confidence has only improved.
“I didn’t get the chance to go to AKA. But, I did train at Xtreme Couture with Francis Ngannou,” he explained. “It was good because we were both preparing for fights. It was a good experience training with Francis because he’s the top heavyweight contender. It gives me more confidence. I’m ready, I feel ready.”
In the end, Ivanov knows he will return to the win column and get a top-10 opponent next time out. But, he also plans to earn his first UFC finish on Saturday night.
“I’m confident I’ll get a finish over Sakai here. I have to finish this fight,” he concluded. “I don’t want to take any more decisions, I can’t trust the decision. I’ve realized you can’t rely on the judges, so I’ll get my first UFC finish here.”
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