Impa Kasanganay will be fighting outside of the UFC on Friday, and he’s okay with that.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s second US show, Eagle FC 46, takes place this Friday. Kicking off the main card is Kasanganay (9-2) taking on Raimond Magomedaliev. This is the first fight outside of the UFC for Kasanganay since they decided not to re-sign him. While that might crush many other people, for the 28-year old, he is on to the next chapter of his career and is at peace with it.
“I was told they could have re-signed me at the time, but when they didn’t, I was like cool, it’s time to move forward and see what’s out there,” Kasanganay told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview. “You know God blessed me with Eagle FC; there were a lot of moving parts to that, but he allowed me to sign with them and get a solid contract. I love the UFC, and it was fun being there, and who knows, I might be back in there one day. I was told once, don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that it happened.”
Kasanganay’s first opponent in Eagle FC is Magomedaliev (9-1), who fought on the first US card in January. He finished former UFC fighter Anthony Njokuani in the first round. “Tshilobo” likes the match-up and is up for the challenge.
“He’s a tough guy, and that’s what I’m excited for. That’s what I came here for. I didn’t step into fighting to fight anything less than the best warriors. So, for me, that’s a big honor,” Kasanganay said. “He comes to fight. He’s skilled, he’s got great coaching, and comes from a great pedigree in terms of his own accomplishments. Those are the guys I want to fight. My focus is to go do what I do, impose my will and claim my victory… my coaches talk about “showing up,” and that’s what I’m going to do, show up.”
Kasanganay is predicting a finish in his fight and putting his name into the welterweight division of Eagle FC.
“I feel like the first round is going to be feeling it out, stepping forward, hitting my shots, really controlling the pace. The second is going to be me keep putting my foot on the gas, keep pushing, and then I’ll be able to drop him, hurt him, and put him away in the second or early third round. I think he’s a very smart fighter with excellent kicks..being patient will lead me to the finish,” Kasanganay said.
Watch the rest of our interview with Impa Kasanganay below, where he talks more about his opponent, his time in the UFC, being part of a family at Sanford MMA, his 175 weight class, and more. Eagle FC 46 is available for free at EagleFC.com on March 11 at 6:00 pm PST.