After coming up short in his attempt at gold last time out, Alex Gluzman has an immediate shot at redemption.
The 24-year-old Gluzman, fighting out of Hamilton, Ont., is readying for yet another chance at MFL gold.
The polarizing decision in his Olivier Poisson fight at MFL 19 was one that was discussed by many, and several observers think Gluzman should have maintained a spotless record.
“Honestly, I like Poisson. He’s a good dude. And respect to him. He made me a better fighter. But you’re not going to tell me that I lost that fight. Now, for sure I could have done things better. I could have been more active. But you’re not going to tell me I lost that fight,” said Gluzman in an interview with MMA Empire.
“Even though he had me in a corner, I basically won pretty much every exchange. I put more damage every time. He took me down once or twice and I swept him. Honestly, at this point, it’s whatever. He has a fight coming up and good luck to him. It is what it is, man. He made me better. Moving on.”
His previous bout saw him fight for Montreal Fight League gold in a different division.
Gluzman has been preparing for the 135-pound opportunity, which is his more natural division, after initially thinking 145 pounds might still be in the cards for him.
“Pretty much as soon as the promoter announced the card, immediately I asked if I can get on it,” said Gluzman.
“I think it was like two or three weeks after that. I was supposed to fight another guy for the featherweight belt, but they didn’t want it. I think it was an injury or something, so they offered me a title shot at 135. Here we are.”
That last featherweight title bid could be likely counted as a one-off at 145 pounds. The COVID training hindrances informed that weight category move, large in part.
“I went to featherweight because there’s no way I’m going to make 135 when everything is closed off during the pandemic,” said Gluzman.
“The title was also a big motivator. But now that the gyms are opening and everything, I can make ’35 easier. But I took the ’45 fight because at the time there was no way for me to make 135.”
Much like every MMA fighter in Canada, the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be very real, closing down many gyms for a long period of time.
Gluzman said it’s refreshing to see the training landscape clear up a bit as his gym, Joslin’s MMA, is seemingly returning to normal.
“The last camp was good too, actually. For more in-house training it was actually really good. But now Joslin’s is open again, all the gyms are open. There’s more people to train with. It’s better now,” said Gluzman.
After taking on the undefeated, 5-0 at the time, Poisson in his last bout, Gluzman faces another tough test in Rodrigues this weekend.
Gluzman was complimentary of his opponent when discussing the main tools Rodrigues brings to the table as a fighter.
“I think he’s one of the more well-rounded fighters in amateur right now. He’s going to be definitely a tough opponent,” said Gluzman.
“I think the only real thing that I got to be worried about with him is just his potential takedowns. Other than that I don’t really feel threatened anywhere, not to take anything away from him. He’s tough and I’m getting ready. We’re throwing down on Saturday.”
Rodrigues is currently holding down the No. 8 spot in the Canadian amateur bantamweight rankings, while Gluzman will be looking to break into the top 15 with a win.
But in spite of Rodrigues’ top-10 ranking, Gluzman said it means nothing to him.
“The rankings never matter, right? Because the rankings are based on the records. At least in amateur anyway. Pro you have a better view. But in the amateur, what I’m seeing is it’s based on records,” said Gluzman.
“Even then I think Tapology has me ranked ahead of Scott and he has a better record than me though. At the end of the day, rankings don’t really matter. A fight’s a fight. I know, from what I’ve seen, I’m prepared for what he has and I know what I have. May the best man win.”
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