Undefeated Russian rising star Roman Bogatov takes on, Brazilian mixed-martial-arts veteran Rubenilton Pereira (20-5-0, M-1: 4-2-0) this Friday in the M-1 Challenge 97 / Tatfight 7 main event, for the vacant M-1 Challenge 97 lightweight title, at Kazan, Russia.
M-1 Challenge 97 will be live-streamed from Russia in high definition on www.M1Global.TV. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets. M-1 Challenge 97 also will be available on www.FITE.TV (preliminary card is free, $7.99 for the main card).
The M-1 Challenge lightweight crown is vacant because the last champion, Damir Ismagulov, recently relinquished his title to sign a UFC contract.
Bogatov (6-0-0, M-1: 5-0-0) is a submission master, four of his six pro victories have been by way of choke-outs, because of his dangerous grappling skills and techniques. In his last fight this past June at M-1 Challenge 94, Bogatov earned his title shot by defeating always tough Raul Tutarauli (18-5-0), whose previous fight was a decision loss to Ismagulov in the latter’s final M-1 Challenge title defense.
Bogatov recently entered The Rage to answer a few questions of interest:
How was training camp?
RB: “For the fight against Pereira, I’ve trained in Ekaterinburg, Russia, at RMK Academy with famous fighters like Ivan Shtyrkov, Alexey Kunchenko, Mikhail Ragozin, Artur Karavaev and Pavel Gordeev, who was preparing for his fight at the same event, M-1 Challenge 97 / Tatfight 7. In camp, I have focused on my cardio, because this is the foundation of my success and a key to victory. I also had many sparring and wrestling sessions and had CrossFit workouts in the morning.”
What advantages do you have over your opponent?
RB: “I have will power, wrestling and grappling skills and I’m ready to constantly push forward and dominate this fight. Pereira is a patient and tough opponent, so it’s not simple to finish him. He is used to long fights, has good cardio, decent striking and wrestling skills and as any Brazilian, he has a solid BJJ game.”
How is it preparing for this fight?
RB: “Before fights I am doing my best not to think too much about the upcoming battle. I prefer just to train and spend time with my family and friends. Right before the fight, you start to pump yourself up. When you need to cut weight, you become a bit more aggressive, because that’s not an easy thing to do. At the face-off when you are looking right into the eyes of your opponent, you get a boost of motivation and can’t wait to enter The Rage.”
What is your goal?
RB: “My goal is to win the belt, defend it, and be an active and dominant champion. Some of the M-1 Challenge champs have signed contracts with the UFC and I would love to follow their path in the future.”
What is your best experience?
RB: “The most pleasant thing in the game is not the victory itself, not even winning the belt. The best thing is the feeling when you come back home, see the smile on your mother’s face, and give hugs to your parents and family. This is the best feeling in the world.”