Blagoy Ivanov plans to be better than ever when he competes for the first time in two years at UFC 274: “There won’t be any ring rust”
Blagoy Ivanov will finally be making the walk to the Octagon again.
Ivanov is set to face Marcos Rogerio de Lima on Saturday at UFC 274 which will be the first time he’s fought since May 30, 2020. Since then, Ivanov has been dealing with some injuries but he says after intense rehab, he is finally healthy again and feels better than ever.
“I just had two different injuries over the past two years. I’ve fixed those and now I feel better than ever,” Ivanov said to BJPENN.com on Monday. “I feel ready to go right now and this is the perfect time for me to get back in there. The time off was difficult but I’ve done a lot of sparring, so I know I’m ready to go and there won’t be any ring rust. That will help me out a lot.”
Once Ivanov was healthy and able to return, he wasn’t sure who would be next for him. Yet, once he got offered de Lima at UFC 274, he was excited about it as the 15th-ranked heavyweight believes it will be a fun fight for the fans.
“He’s a tough guy, his standup is good,” Ivanov said. “I’ve watched a few of his fights, he’s very tough, and has some power. We are similar in size, both good strikers, it will be a fun fight I think.”
Although Blagoy Ivanov is expecting a striking fight, he does say the pressure is on him to get his hand raised. He’s coming off back-to-back split decision losses to Augusto Sakai and Derrick Lewis, in fights he thought he won.
With that, Ivanov says there is pressure to not only win but to get the stoppage as he doesn’t want to leave it up to the judges.
“Of course, there is pressure to get the finish. I’ve also lost two in a row so the pressure is on, I have to win this fight, but it is what it is,” Ivanov said. “My past two fights were close and the judges didn’t think I won and I think they robbed me, so I need to win this fight, for sure. I just do what I have to do on Saturday to get the win. I have a game plan and the tactic to beat him so if I stick to that, I know I can win this fight.”
Should Ivanov do what he says and beat de Lima at UFC 274, the plan is to return at quickly as possible and make up for the lost time. He wants a ranked opponent but the goal for right now is to get back into the win column on Saturday.
“For sure I’m hoping I can be as active as possible,” Ivanov concluded. “But, right now, the focus is on de Lima and getting back into the win column. After that, we can see who and when is next for me.”
Do you think Blagoy Ivanov will beat Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC 274?
Topics:Blagoy Ivanov Exclusive MMA Interviews Marcos Rogério de Lima UFC