Igor looks back on his XFN 353 win, looks ahead to an XFN 356 MMA match.

Igor connects on a head kick vs Cameron King.

Igor connects on a head kick vs Cameron King.

Q: Tell us about your XFN 353 win.

Igor: It was a 145 pound kickboxing match against Cameron King.

Q: What kind of fight experience does he have? It looks like he has some belts on his facebook page.

Igor: I saw his picture with a few belts. I didn’t really know his record. I found out after the fight, he had more experience, had a better record than me, more fights behind him. The only video I saw of him was his knockout video that looked really impressive.

Q: How did the fight progress?

Igor: To be honest after the first round, I knew the fight was in my pocket. I knew I would out gain him. But I know I should have done more. Way more. And I could have done more too.

I feel like I dominated the fight. I didn’t really get caught. I caught him quite a lot. But there were a lot of times I caught him, but I should have finished it. The fight should have finished in the first or second round. But I didn’t, I played it too safe.

Q: So you wanted to be more active?

Igor: I try to improve with every fight. In this fight, I felt a little less overwhelmed. Just by being in the ring, the crowd, a little less pressured by my opponent’s record, things like that. So I felt comfortable, I felt good. Closer to how I feel in the gym. Not stiff, more loose and stuff. But once again, my problem is finding that switch. Where you go in, and knock the guy out. You don’t just show good work, but you put on a show. You knock the guy out. You go all in. I think I played it too safe in this one.

Q: You’re on a win streak, right?

Igor: It’s the fourth fight in a row that I’ve won. I’ve got to keep it that way.

Now I’m going to go into an MMA fight, because I have to fix that record. I had two fights, I lost both. So it will take me at least two or three fights to balance it, to fix my record.

Q: So your next fight will be an MMA fight then?

Igor: We’re aiming for February 1st. I’ll be on the same card together with Jimmy Flick. Hopefully it will be MMA. I’ll finally get to work on my ground game, and see how I do with MMA. It’s been two and a half, close to three years since I’ve had my last MMA fight.

Q: How are you going to change the training for this fight coming up February 1st?

Igor: We’re going to work a lot of takedown defense. A little bit jiu-jitsu, and mostly keep my standup good. Takedown defense is the main priority, because if I can, I’m going to keep the fight standing up.

Q: Who at the gym has been really pushing you, taking you to that next level?

Igor: First, everything comes from, goes back to God. I’m thankful for the ability: physical, mental, spiritual. To be able to come to the gym and train. I have all of the necessary tools and skills. God keeps it that way. Provides finances, provides time, provides the necessary people to help me. So I always thank Jesus.

And I thank Him for the people He provides, like Thomas. He’s always correcting me in the right way. He’s more like a mental coach to me, more than like a physical coach. Every time I need to find out how do I turn myself into this mold, how do I get up, out of my situation. He always coaches me, not just in the gym. I can always come to him with problems. Outside of the gym, I can tell him anything. He will always help. He will always be open for that.

And also I’m really thankful for Daryl. Everyday he’s always here, he’s always coaching me. He’s a professional fighter, so he’s supposed to be getting the coaching, the work for his fight. But he’s always taking the time out of his practice almost every day to coach me and push me. So I’m really thankful for that.

Everybody in the gym. Everybody I work with, that is a blessing. Because if you don’t have anybody to work with, you can’t improve... I feel like everybody in the gym is doing their part, even if they don’t know it, to push me to improve and progress. So I’m thankful for that.

Q: We’re hoping for even more success in your next match, for even more of your potential to come out!

Igor: Amen. Just keep improving.

Ben Greenwood