This Friday’s Bellator 269 will be not just Darina Madzyuk’s promotional debut, but her first experience fighting in a big event, period.
Which had the Russian flyweight saying during this week’s media day that she’s “really excited to be in one.”
It is not, however, Madzyuk’s first time in the spotlight. You might remember her from (read it using Troy McClure’s voice) an intergender fight last year, where she faced, and defeated, a 529lb sumo wrestler.
Set to fight in the Bellator cage this Saturday in Moscow, Madzyuk explained that fighting a man “was actually my initiative, initially. I got the idea of fighting someone huge, and then used that as promotional value for not just Russia but also for the U.S. and other countries.”
That allowed Mazdyuk to draw attention to herself, and score a Bellator contract in the process, she added.
“The idea behind making such a fight is making an international, intergender fight between different countries and different people, in order to make [a fight that is] really nice, really exciting, and really something to look at,” she went on to explain. The goal, she added, was “to reach a lot of people and to show to the crowd that such fights can exist, they can take place, and how exciting they can be.”
Clips of the fight, which took place in November of last year, went viral. And while there hasn’t exactly been a clamor for more intergender fights, everything seems to have worked out for Darina Madzyuk. Especially given a Bellator deal was on her wish list.
The flyweight told Cageside Press this week that she “specifically wanted to sign with Bellator,” going on to add that it was “very exciting news for her to be the one Russian who is a female to be presented in Bellator fights.” Well, one of two at least – Irina Alekseeva will also fight on the Bellator 269 card.
Watch the full Bellator 269 media day appearance from Darina Madzyuk above. The event takes place this Saturday, October 23 at the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia. More coverage can be found below.