Las Vegas, NV – It took two rounds for UFC flyweight Tagir Ulanbekov to find the finish, but he scored one against Cody Durden at UFC 296 on Saturday night.
“I feel very good. I’m very glad that I finished this fight this way,” Ulanbekov told reporters including Cageside Press through a translator at his post-fight scrum.
“My plan was to take the back and choke him out and that’s how it ended.”
Durden turned out to be a much tougher out than Ulanbekov expected. The always scrappy Durden got out of a couple submission attempts before finally tapping.
“First time when I caught him with a punch and went for submission I rushed it a little bit. But then in the same round I went for the choke and it was very deep. I’m surprised he got out,” Ulanbekov said.
“And then in second I got two submission attempts, but that last one was too deep. Nobody could escape it.”
Ulanbekov trains with UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhavechev and is part of a big camp that includes some big UFC stars including Khabib Nurmagomedov and his cousin Umar.
His late head coach, Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was and still is a big motivator for the entire team.
“To be honest this expectation doesn’t pressure me at all. My coach Abdulmanap believed (in) me that I could do it and that’s what’s most important,” he said.
“No one could beat me harder than the guys in training.”
Watch the entire post-fight scrum with Tagir Ulanbekov above.