2014 so far has been mostly good to bantamweight standout Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev… mostly.
In March Saadulaev’s bout with Magomed Ginazov was ruled a No Contest, putting a halt to a three-fight winning streak he had going since last May of 2013.
“I felt that the (no contest) decision was unfair, but I decided to move on do not invest too much of my emotion to that,” Saadulaev told MMAWeekly.com.
“Right now I am very happy that I am given the opportunity to fight in Asia’s largest MMA organization, ONE FC, and for the first time in Taiwan. There are so many opportunities with ONE FC, as they are expanding so fast, and under ONE FC, I will continue to fight hard to prove myself in the scene.”
Saadulaev feels during his winning streak that his stand-up had finally come up to par with his solid ground game.
“I was working a lot on my striking, so maybe I feel more confident with my punches and kicks,” he said. “So now I’m not afraid of striking exchanges anymore.”
With wins in his last two ONE FC bouts, Saadulaev (12-3-1) will be looking to keep things going in the promotion against Koetsu Okazaki (9-3-1) on July 11 in Taipei, Taiwan.
“Okazaki is one tough fighter and facing him is a big task for me,” said Saadulaev. “It will take lots of work and big heart to defeat him, but I am prepared and I cannot wait for July 11.”
For Saadulaev, a victory over Okazaki could lead towards what he’s been working for all this time, a ONE FC 145-pound title shot.
“My main goal and dream now is the belt of ONE FC,” he said. “And I’m working very hard to get closer towards my dream.
“I want to thank all MMA fans especially the ones who support me. Without you guys all this would make no sense.”
(Photo courtesy of ONE FC)