Charles Azoulay is looking to close out his amateur career with a bang.
Coming off a big submission win in his MFL debut, Azoulay (2-1) will quickly ascend to the main event when he takes on Ramil Kamilov (6-3) for the vacant MFL amateur lightweight strap this weekend at MFL 19.
Expecting this to be the final test before he takes the step to the next level, Azoulay is excited to put on a show and make a statement.
“I have had my eyes on the belt since I came here and it’s a big opportunity,” Azoulay said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I think me and my opponent, Ramil, knew we had to fight at some point for the belt. This will probably be the last amateur fight for both of us and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Let’s go for it!”
It’s been a long journey so far for Azoulay as the Frenchman has travelled around the world in search of an MMA career.
That search has brought him to Montreal, Que. where he currently trains out of Trackfit Boxing and the well-known Tristar Gym, which he said has elevated his game significantly.
“I’m feeling great, I have a lot of energy right now. This fight is a big challenge, but that’s what champions do. I love the process and I’m ready to fight,” Azoulay said.
“I had my first fights back in France when MMA wasn’t fully legal. The rules were limited. I was young, I wasn’t with a big team like I am right now. I’ve traveled around the world and trained all over, so my grappling, striking, everything is much better now.”
Azoulay’s confidence in the cage comes from being in the gym 24-7.
Now, finally being able to perform at his natural weight, Azoulay feels he’s ready to make a nice run at 155 pounds.
“I’ve only had one fight at 155. I used to take fights at 170 because I had no choice, I was definitely undersized. Now I can just focus on myself. I’m confident in everything, so I prepare the same. I’m always in the gym all year-round, so I’m excited.” Azoulay said.
“My biggest strength is my perseverance. I’m always training, but when it’s time for a fight I’m a different person. It might sound cliche, but it is what it is, I go for the kill and that’s it. I have good cardio and I trust myself. I trust my skill and wherever the fight goes I’m going to be ready.”
Azoulay has had his eye on Kamilov for awhile and has been looking forward to the opportunity to test himself.
He said he has a lot of respect for his opponent, but is essentially looking to use him as a launch pad to the next level.
“He’s a pretty good fighter. I saw him fight at 170 pounds and thought he’s got good striking, solid wrestling, he’s pretty dominant on the ground and could be a pretty big challenge for me before I turn pro,” Azoulay said.
“If you want to test yourself and be the best you have to go for the big fish, so let’s go!”
Both Azoulay and Kamilov have proven to be part of entertaining fights so far in their amateur careers and Azoulay said he doesn’t expect that to change.
He doesn’t care how he gets it done Saturday, Azoulay just wants to leave with the belt.
“I see myself getting the belt by any means,” Azoulay said.
“I have a couple of surprises for him and I’m sure he’ll have a few for me. It’s going to come down to who wants it the most. It’s going to be the fight of the night for sure. I know he’s been looking to fight for a long time and so have I, so it’s a pretty big opportunity for both of us. I’m here for a good fight and a big performance and that will make it easier to sign a pro contract.”
“Trackfit Boxing and Tristar Gym.” Follow Azoulay on social media: INSTAGRAM