Ibragim Chuzhigaev: I want to prove that I can beat a top guy. I need to take his spot

Ibragim Chuzhigaev: I want to prove that I can beat a top guy. I need to take his spot

Middleweight Ibragim Chuzhigaev scheduled to fight at ACB 87 in Nottingham. He’ll face Scott Askham. Ibragim has spoken about this upcoming bout:


You’ve wanted to face a top opponent for a while now. Finally, you got Scott Askham, who is ranked highly in middleweight fightmatrix rankings. Give us your thoughts on the fight?

- People often ask me who I want to face and, because most of the fans only care about rankings, I wanted to face a high-ranked opponent. No matter wether it’s in the ACB or Fightmatrix rankings, I want to fight someone who is above me. It’s not that important for me personally but as a professional I want to achieve my goals and I need to move forward in order to do that. People care about rankings, even ACB management care about it, so I need to take them into account. It’s exremely important for a professional fighter to evolve. So I’m learning something new every day, trying new things, getting better. Sometimes in the fight you’re not performing as good as in training. So you must keep improving. This is my main goal.


You’ll fight on the hostile territory, there will be a lot of fans of Askham. Do you feel any extra pressure because if that and if so, how do you deal with that?

- I’m used to fighting abroad, so it’s not a problem for me. If you want to take someone’s castle, you need to attack it from the inside. You come straight to the castle and take it. You need to dethrone the king and takeover the crowd. I have a lot of supporters in England, now I need to beat my opponent. My motivation is through the roof. I want to beat a top guy, take his place.


All last year you were trying to get a rematch with Vasilevskiy. Do you still want this fight?

- I will always want to face Vasilevskiy again. At least for a couple of years. I hope it won’t take too long and we’ll fight after my fight with Askham. I’ll be extremely motivated for that fight. My motivation will be even bigger that for this upcoming fight. It will be a totally different experience in terms of emotions and motivation and it’s absolutely not about the rankings. I hope Vyacheslav will keep his word and we’ll show a spectacular fight one day.


A lot of fighters from Berkut are now getting ready for their upcoming fights. How is the atmosphere there?

- Yes, many Berkut fighters have a very important fights on their way, including me. Yusuf is scheduled for a rematch, it’s a really strong feeling, I felt it in my last fight. Abdul-Aziz is defending his belt. All of our guys are excited and when we are together, we’re motivating each other. I’m sure that all Berkut fighters will show a great fights, whether it’s in Italy, Moscow or England. I know all of them, I know how hard they work. And I know what they are capable of on that cage.

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