Sunday, June 26, 2022

Movsar Evloev Lays Out Plan: Finish Ige, Main Event Debut, Title Shot

Rising UFC featherweight Movsar Evloev has lofty ambitions on MMA’s biggest stage, and he’s hoping to move closer to accomplishing them at UFC Vegas 56.

While a lot of top prospects are perhaps flying under the radar in the UFC’s top divisions, not many are as promising as Evloev. The 28-year-old boasts an unblemished 15-0 record and is a former bantamweight champion in the renowned M-1 Global promotion.

In five Octagon appearances, Evloev has maintained his perfect professional slate with victories over Seung Woo Choi, Enrique Barzola, Mike Grundy, Nik Lentz, and Hakeem Dawodu. The Russian’s most recent win saw him ascend to #13 on the featherweight ladder.

He’ll have the chance to break into the divisional top 10 when he shares the Octagon with Dan Ige in tonight’s co-main event.

The 145-pound shark tank is currently one of the most stacked on MMA’s biggest stage. Below incredible champion Alexander Volkanovski sit a host of hungry contenders, including Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, Yair Rodriguez, Calvin Kattar, Josh Emmett, Arnold Allen, and Giga Chikadze.

But despite the immense level of talent alongside him on the featherweight roster, Evloev believes in his abilities to compete with the best.

During UFC Vegas 56 media day on Wednesday, the Russian acknowledged Ige’s talents, but suggested that he fully expects to finish him in round one before advancing to a title eliminator.

“It’s a good opportunity, a good name. But I’m very confident, and nothing will mess (me up) in this fight,” said Evloev. “(Ige) is good, his wrestling, cardio, boxing; pretty good. But I think I am better, and I will prove it this fight and finish this guy.

“I hope after this fight, when I get victory, I need one more good name for title shot, I hope,” added Evloev. “My plan is to finish this guy first round. I don’t need three rounds.

With all five of his outings in the UFC going to the scorecards, Evloev will look to put an exclamation point on a victory this Saturday by becoming the first man to finish “50K” in MMA. If he does so, the 28-year-old will be expecting a main event debut next time out, swiftly followed by a shot at gold.

“Co-main event (spot) is good, but my plan is main event next time out, and maybe after, you know, a title fight,” said Evloev. “I need to show my best version for this (fight), and prove to everyone I’m a real contender for the title.”

While it would be impressive to secure a championship opportunity in his next two appearances, Evloev’s talent is clear to see, and it seems he’s looking to accelerate his timeline having had a bout with Ilia Topuria canceled in January this year.

Nevertheless, Ige will be no easy opponent. The 30-year-old has only lost to the best in the Octagon, with defeats to Calvin Kattar, “The Korean Zombie,” and Josh Emmett stalling the momentum that wins against Edson Barboza and Gavin Tucker brought him.

Who do you think will have their hand raised in this weekend’s co-main event, Movsar Evloev or Dan Ige?

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