While most of the attention will center around the return of Anderson Silva at UFC Fight Night 84 this Saturday, one man to look out for is Makwan Amirkhani (12-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) who steps out against England’s Mike Wilkinson (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on the undercard.
The 27-year-old from Finland made his debut in the UFC last January, TKO’ing Andy Ogle in just eight seconds. He went on to beat Masio Fullen five months later and continues to train hard under the tutelage of John Kavanagh at Straight Blast Gym in Dublin.
With the fight just hours away, Makwan speaks to Sport360 about his preparation for the fight, his opponent Mike Wilkinson and training with Conor McGregor.
You step out against Mike Wilkinson this weekend, what are your thoughts going into the fight?
I’ve been working so hard for so long for this fight, so this is a huge relief to have the chance to showcase my skills.
What kind of opponent is Mike?
He’s another copy of Andy Ogle so the result will be the same.
How’s training been going in preparation for the fight?
It’s going well. There have been no injuries so every day I feel like I’m getting better. I feel more technical, stronger, faster and more handsome
What’s an average day like for you?
I get up and I look myself in the mirror. If I go on to the street the cops will stop me for being so handsome. But I always say, let’s skip that and go training instead. I train for two hours in the morning, then I eat, sleep and then I walk outside. I train for a further two hours then I play my Playstation.
What have you learnt since being in the UFC?
I’ve learnt a lot about business, life and people.
How important is the mental side of the sport?
I’m in good shape. I have good skills, technique and power, so my mental side is strong. When you’re as good as I am, you feel like this all the time.
What’s the experience like of training at SBG with coach John Kavanagh and Conor McGregor?
It was a good move for me. I met John Kavanagh and lots of good guys in Dublin. Spending time with those guys gave me huge self-confidence. If John tells you that you will be a top fighter in that division, then you feel great.
What was it like training alongside Conor?
He is a nice guy. He’s just another fighter with a humble attitude. He’s still looking sharp and good.
Could there be a potential fight between yourself and Conor in the future?
There’s a long wait, but who knows? Right now, were on the same team and we train together. In the future I don’t think that will come. I’m not thinking about that though. My focus is on Saturday.
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