Zviad Lazishvili was supposed to compete at LFA 78. However, with the event postponed, Lazishvili’s return to action will have to wait.
Undefeated featherweight Zviad Lazishvili was expected to return from a multi-year layoff at LFA 78. While the event’s postponed, it’s still a good time to get to know the fighter, who is just now hitting his prime.
First of all, how did you get into MMA?
I grew up in a wrestling family but at the age of 19, I officially started training combat sports in order to learn self-defense. I was very fortunate that I was surrounded by so many professional training partners since the beginning and I got hooked with MMA. I loved MMA because it was a little more diverse and I love the fact that I could learn multiple combat sports. I can say that MMA changed my life in so many different aspects. It taught me to be more calm, patient and focused in everything that I do and never back down until I achieve my goal.
Do you have any background in any other sports? If so, explain?
As I mentioned I grew up in a family where wrestling was the main sport. My father is a wrestling coach but he didn’t want me to get involved in it as much as he wanted me to go to school and achieve higher education so grappling was the first sport I got involved in.
What is your career, or would MMA be your full-time job?
Even though I have experience of running a business in Georgia and Russia, MMA is my biggest passion, I left everything and came here to fight and build a career. But at the same time, I know that the fight life is too short so I’m also finishing my MBA program at BAU Atlantic University and have some interest areas as well but for now, MMA is first place.
Talk about your nationality like where you’re from, where you moved to, and why?
I’m from the Republic of Georgia, It is known as the Birthplace of the wine and honey. Also from the ancient times, it was called the Land of the Wolves – because of the numerous brilliant warriors. Right now I live in Washington DC and again, the reason why I’m here is because of the huge appreciation of MMA and I want to fight for big leagues and be a part of this game.
Who are you currently training with?
When I moved to the US I looked around and I found Kaizen MMA as my home. I signed with Kaizen MMA and Fighters Management Inc. Also, I have trained in Russia and Eastern Europe and my coaches allow me to go to training camps and level up my game.
List of accomplishments such as titles, belt ranks, etc…?
My first international accomplishment was in 2012 when I won the World Cup in Turkey. After that I won the Georgian Championship in Grappling 6 times in 3 different weight division (61kg,66kg,77kg). I also won the Moscow Open tournament in Grappling (66kg). In 2014, took second place in the amateur World Championship (WKF) in Czech Republic, and in 2015 I became World Champion by Kombat League version in Italy.
What are your favorite striking and grappling technique?
I like almost every effective, simple technique which can lead me to a victory.
This is your first time fighting in the US. How different has it been preparing for this fight?
To be honest, back in my country we never had the chance to prepare for a fight. I never knew who my opponent was, we were happy to get any kind of fight and if anybody would offer us a fight we were agreeing right away to not miss a chance to fight. When I moved to Russia things were much better. I had very good fight camps with an amazing coach, Taras Kyashko but unfortunately, I never had a chance to fight. During that period I had four fight camps but four of them were canceled in last days of the fight. But now I feel I have more opportunities and a lot of supports like doctors, fitness coaches. Shout out to my biggest supports like sponsors Active Family Wellness and Quantum Movement and most importantly my amazing coaches.
You’re set to fight Josh Huber coming up. What do you think about him as an opponent and how do you see this fight playing out?
He is a very experienced and tough fighter, I really respect him and understand that it won’t be an easy fight so I’m preparing for It very well. Another thing is I know who I am going to face during this fight but he doesn’t know anything about me which in my opinion will play a big role. I will look forward to finishing him early but I don’t mind a three round bloody fight either.
If you weren’t fighting where would you be today?
I think I maybe still in the fighting business like matchmaker or even a coach.
Your last fight was in June of 2015. Can you explain the long layoff?
Yes, my last fight was in 2015, I stopped training for some personal reasons but I continued training in Russia where I was not able to fight due to fight cancellations. Then, unfortunately, I injured myself and had to do surgeries and it took a long time to recover.
You were fighting at 145 so what made you decide to move down to 135?
My walking weight has always been around 155 and because most of my fights were short notice fights, I fought at 145. In the US it’s a lot more organized. You know when you fight so I can diet and fight at 135.
Last question. Why do you fight and who do you fight for?
First of all, I fight because I want my family and my country to be proud of me. Also on a personal level, I love the feeling of being in the moment when you’re not only facing your opponent but also all your fears, temptations, weaknesses, fatigue and the fight through all to be victorious. In the end, I love to have this as my career and make those Million Dollars.