by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Siyar Bahadurzada returns to action Saturday at Sengoku 6 and he has his sights on winning the organization’s inaugural middleweight tournament.
“My training is going really well. I’m training very hard and I’m in shape,” said Bahadurzada. “I have improved and adopted some stuff in my fighting style which I’m going to show on Nov.1.”
The winner of the semi-finals will advance to the finals, which will be held on the same evening.
“Fighting twice in one night does not intimidate me at all. I train with Golden Glory and every training session we have is no less than a fight and we spar like that everyday. So basically we fight four or five fights every day at the gym,” explained Bahadurzada.
The Dutch-Afghan fighter reached the semi-finals with a TKO victory over Chute Boxe’s Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. The fight came to an unfortunate end when Santos suffered a dislocated elbow after the two fighters competed for a takedown. An emotional Bahadurzada was seen yelling from the four corners of the ring while his Brazilian opponent was tended to by the doctors.
“I was very disappointed that the fight had to be stopped because of an injury. But at the same time, I did not realize what happened that very moment when the fight was over. I was full of emotions because of the hard period I had behind me; twice broken right hand and an elbow surgery,” explained Bahadurzada. “Unfortunately most people interpreted my emotional release the wrong way and I cannot blame them; it came at the wrong time. But as I said before, the emotional release had nothing to do with the fight outcome that night.”
Standing across the ring from the Golden Glory fighter this Saturday will be Jorge Santiago. The American Top Team fighter submitted Logan Clark to advance to the semi-finals. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has seen a lot of success after his time in the UFC, defeating Andrei Semenov and Jeremy Horn en route to winning Strikeforce’s first four-man tournament. Santiago submitted Yuki Sasaki by armbar in his Sengoku debut.
“He is a good fighter. Most people see him as the favorite to win the tournament, but I guess I will prove a lot of people wrong, including the bookies,” said Bahadurzada confidently.
If he is successful in defeating Jorge Santiago, Bahadurzada will face the winner between Kazuhiro Nakamura and Yuki Sasaki in the grand prix finals.
“I’m ready to face either one of them. I cannot pick between them. They are both good fighters and I respect them…until the bell goes in the ring. Then there will be no respect at all.”
Siyar Bahadurzada has a challenging road ahead of him. The Shooto 183-pound champion has taken his tough childhood in Afghanistan and used it as his motivation to “achieve everything I want.” His hard work and dreams may come to fruition this weekend.
“It would mean a lot to me (to win the grand prix). I have worked hard for this and this will be a great reward.
“I don’t think I have any left (fans) after the fight against Cyborg,” he quipped. “All I want to say is that I’m not only fighting to win fights and earn money; my goal is also to win the heart of the MMA fans. I want the MMA fans to watch my fights with certain emotions… I want to steal their hearts so they are nervous every time I fight. I’m willing to give it my all to show the MMA fans some exciting fights!”