M-1 Global Champion Shamil Zavurov’s Work Ethic Carrying Him to New Heights

April 27, 2011

What’s important for M-1 Global welterweight champion Shamil Zavurov at the April 28 Challenge event in St. Petersburg, Russia, is solely remaining champion.

Zavurov had originally been scheduled to fight Rashid Magomedov on Thursday, but a late injury forced Magomedov out. But even before that happened, Zavurov’s focus was on retaining his title, not avenging a loss to Magomedov.

“I don’t like dwelling on the past,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “After my loss I wanted a rematch with Rashid right away, but I stopped thinking about it with time and have even forgotten about it.

“I learned what I could from it and moved on. Now it’s just another fight for me, but I will do everything I can do defend my title and keep the belt.”

He will now put his belt on the line against Yasubey Enomoto.

Since his loss to Magomedov in 2009, Zavurov has gone on a 10-fight winning streak, to which he feels his outlook on the sport is key.

“I believe the keys to my success are my diligence and work ethic,” he said. “I have put everything in my life on hold except for training, which I am dedicated to.

“In preparation for each fight, I’m sure that my training is what makes me successful. I have started working with a striking coach and am committed to evolving my game to be a serious competitor.”

His diligence has paid off, and through it Zavurov feels he’s a different reflection of the man he was in his last defeat.

“I’m not even the same fighter,” he stated. “When I first faced Rashid, I wasn’t as dedicated and well-prepared as a fighter. But since then, I’ve had a lot of bouts, re-focused my training, train harder and have the endurance to go longer.”

As for his strategy, Zavurov is keeping it simple, get out in front early, and stay there.

“I’m not sitting back,” he commented. “I’m going to be the aggressor in this fight and will attack him first.”

As is his fight strategy, Zavurov’s plans for this year remain simple: Stay champion and face the best fighters he can.

“My main goal in 2011 is to defend my belt every time I enter the ring,” he said. “If the opportunity were to present itself, I would really like to fight in the USA and with M-1 having events there on their own and with Strikeforce, hopefully it could be possible.

“I need to fight opponents of a higher caliber for me to judge exactly how much I have progressed and developed as a fighter, because you can never be sure you’ve grown as a fighter until you beat a stronger opponent. I need to always be challenged.”

Solidifying his reign as champion is the main motivating factor for Zavurov on April 28. It is what will define him that evening, and should all go as planned, will continue to define him in the year to come.

“I want to thank all my fans for their support, it’s so appreciated,” he said in closing. “I will do my best to win and not let you down.

“(M-1 Global) have started bringing in really good fighters from different countries and started to work in America which is awesome. Every fighter wants to go
to America, me too, I want to fight there and win there.”