Alex Gluzman (2-0) tests skills with ranked featherweight Olivier Poisson (5-0) for the MFL amateur featherweight title at MFL 19. The latest event from Montreal Fight League transpires on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old Gluzman, fighting out of Hamilton, Ont., aims to maintain his unbeaten streak as an amateur and get ahold of some gold in the coming days.
This bout with Poisson is one that has been on Gluzman’s radar for awhile and he is familiarized with his upcoming opponent.
“I knew I was actually going to fight him at one point. And in my head, when I asked the promoter if I could get on the show, I had a feeling I was going to get a title shot. And I knew I was going to fight Olivier,” said Gluzman in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’ve scouted him for sure, but in my head I was kind of like what if he gives me Olivier? That would be pretty cool.”
Four of Poisson’s five amateur wins have come via submission, while Gluzman has one victory via knockout and the other by decision.
While Gluzman is aware of Poisson’s physicality, he doesn’t see him bringing anything super out of the ordinary to the proverbial table.
“I haven’t seen much, really. But he seems strong, but he’s not special.”
Gluzman is a member of the ever-growing team at Joslin’s MMA in Hamilton where he’s been honing his skills for several years.
While this still is the primary base of operations, certain amendments to the training methods had to be made amid the pandemic.
“In Hamilton right now, everything with the pandemic is closed down. So, I really, really had to get people to train with me. It’s really hard to get a training session in now, but I managed to do just that,” said Gluzman.
“A pandemic is not going to stop me from pursuing my dreams, you know.”
In addition to starting off his amateur career 2-0, Gluzman recently earned his blue belt in jiu-jitsu. He said this was a big moment for him early in his martial arts journey.
“I was a white belt for two years at the time, right. I saw that coming to be honest. But for sure though the moment was ‘finally I’m here.’ Finally, like the big leagues, you know,” said Gluzman.
“That was definitely a special moment for sure.”
In addition to finding early success in MMA fights, Gluzman has also proven to be a force in jiu-jitsu matches.
Medaling in a variety of jiu-jitsu competitions has also done a lot to bolster the confidence in Gluzman’s submission grappling approach for MMA.
“Funny actually when I first started MMA, when I first came to Jeff’s at the very beginning, I didn’t know jiu-jitsu. I didn’t even know striking. I came from a taekwondo background. So what happened is off the bat I asked Jeff, ‘Jeff can you get me a fight?’ If that’s what I have to do, I’ll do it. When I won my first gold medal, I was like holy f**k,” said Gluzman.
“It actually really did a lot for my confidence. And the more I kept winning, the more I felt like, oh my god. You feel invincible in these kinds of moments.”
With no shortage of jiu-jitsu matches under his belt, Gluzman is chomping at the bit to compete under mixed martial arts rules for the first time since Nov. 2019.
Gluzman said he’s eager to get back in the cage and show everything he’s been working on since his last MMA fight.
“I was actually supposed to fight three times last year; all of them got canceled. One of which, obviously, was my fault. Actually, it’s been a while,” said Gluzman.
“Obviously, I’m going to be nervous, right. That’s what happens, but I’m just so excited. I can’t wait until I get to show my skills again. Honestly, I’m just sitting here like I just want to get this done.”
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