Las Vegas, NV – The UFC welterweight division got another wake-up call as newcomer Rinat Fakhretdinov dominated Andreas Michailidis at UFC Vegas 56 on Saturday at the UFC APEX.
“First of all it could be much better, but I was nervous it’s my first fight. I was waiting for this fight for a year-and-a-half. Like I said it could be much, much better, but what happened that’s what happened. I’m very thankful to Dana White who signed me up. It was magic. I know I’m going to progress in the future. Every fight will be better than this one. I’m ready,” Fakhretdinov told reporters through a translator at his post-fight scrum.
Fakhretdinov mentioned the wait for his UFC debut and he explained why it took so long to get him into the octagon.
“There was first visa situations. We couldn’t get visa even from the first try. Then there was COVID. So it was really difficult to get in here, but once we got in America I start training. (I) spent all (my) training days, months, in Miami being very focused. Now (I’m) unstoppable,” Fakhretdinov said.
Fakhretdinov employed a wrestling-heavy game plan against Michailidis who prefers to strike with opponents scoring 5 of 10 takedowns int he fight.
“Plan A was an early finish. Plan B was of course going through all three rounds, but I think it’s even better for my first fight to go through, to feel it. Now I’m going to progress,” said Fakhretdinov.
“Next time I promise I’m going to finish early.”
After such a dominating debut and showing very little damage following the fight Fakhretdinov still expressed the need to go home and see his family who he’s been away from for quite a while.
“I need just a couple of months to spend time with my family. I didn’t see my family for all the training days while being here, but I can fight every month. Seriously I can fight every month. I fight with all my heart, I give all I have, all the best every time. I will progress and you will some unseeable before from me, trust me,” Fakhretdinov said.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 56 post-fight media scrum with Rinat Fakhretdinov above.