In Cologne, Germany this Saturday, Bulgarian heavyweight Lazar Todev will look to capture the vacant Oktagon MMA heavyweight championship.
Oktagon 49 sees Todev (9-5) paired up with Hatef Moeil in the main event, and Todev did not mince words when asked about his prediction for the fight.
“We will see. But I’m going to give something special for the people. I’m ready to give something amazing, first of all,” Todev told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “I’m coming to bring him pain, I’m coming to rip his head off.”
That’s an ominous prediction to be sure. It makes sense, however, from a fighter who carries the well-earned nickname of “The Punisher,” a moniker a friend bestowed upon Lazar Todev just a few fights into his career.
“After two or three fights for me came the name. One friend gave me the name, because every time, I punish the fighters, the people [I face],” Todev recalled. “That’s it.”
Todev will enter Oktagon 49 on a seven-fight win streak in MMA, something he says boils down to “hard work.”
“That’s everything. I work very hard, after every fight, I work harder and harder,” said Todev. “And that’s everything.” And despite the five round fight he’s about to enter, Todev has not made any changes in fight camp. “No, actually not. I train every time for five rounds actually. That way I’m ready for this fight. I don’t want something difficult, something special. I train like this every time.”
“I trained my stand-up, my ground game, everything. My conditioning as well.”
A heavyweight on a seven-fight win streak, possibly eight after Oktagon 49, with a respected regional title would seem a sure-fire lock for one of MMA’s larger promotions, be it the UFC or PFL. Todev himself isn’t sure what the future brings, but spoke highly of Oktagon MMA.
“Nobody knows. Step-by-step, step-by-step, you know? First of all my plan is to win this title, and after this, probably to defend the title. Who knows? Maybe I can stay with Oktagon, they’re a great organization, I’m happy to be there. We’re going to talk after this fight, and we’ll see.”
Watch our full interview with Otkagon 49 headliner Lazar Todev above.