UFC Vegas 7: Mariya Agapova Finds Pleasure in Fighting

Mariya Agapova returns to the octagon this weekend at UFC Vegas 7, seemingly brimming with confidence.

Speaking to Cageside Press during the event’s media day this week, Kazakhstan’s Agapova (9-1), a veteran of the Contender Series and Invicta FC, admitted that “on Dana White’s Contender Series I was scared, but not now. Now I only get pleasure from what I’m doing.”

It’s a theme she would return to several times. Fighting gives her pleasure, and Agapova comes off as a very upbeat character. She knows, however, that upcoming opponent Shana Dobson will be ready to put up a tough fight. Dobson has lost three straight, and is one of those rare UFC fighters with a sub-.500 record. In other words, her job is on the line.

“She don’t want to lose one more. She will be fighting so [hard], because if she lost, I guess she’ll lose her contract,” Agapova acknowledged. “Dana White will know. She understands that. I’m sure she will fight tough.”

“I guess it’s not easy, but we will see,” she added.

Agapova now flies the flag for Kazakhstan in the UFC. Her debut earlier this year, which saw her submit Hannah Cifers, was supposed to come in her home country. Instead, the coronavirus pandemic shifted things stateside.

Still, “it’s so nice, I’m very glad that finally somebody from Kazakhstan is in the UFC, and Kazakhstanian guys can cheer for somebody from their country,” Agapova said with a smile. “Especially a women, there’s no women from Kazakhstan in the UFC, and now it’s me! And people can cheer for me. Hello Kazakhstan, hello my country!”

While this fight comes barely two months after her promotional debut, the “short” turnaround is no problem for the American Top Team fighter. Outside of accidents and injuries, the flyweight likes staying busy.

“Usually I fight pretty [often]. Because I like it. I even don’t get tired because I like what I’m doing,” she said. “It’s not hard work for me, it’s pleasure. I get pleasure from everything I do.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 7 media day press scrum with Mariya Agapova above. The event takes place Saturday, August 22 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.