Fresh off winning the Prestige FC amateur welterweight title, Dan Kovalchuk is hungry for more.
Black Diamond’s Kovalchuk (5-1) will battle Calgary’s Ramil Kamilov (4-2) for the vacant XFFC amateur welterweight title Saturday night at XFFC 22 in Grande Prairie, Alta.
Kovalchuk, 22, said defeating Mark Mosure for his Prestige FC title at Prestige FC 11 was a big confidence lift for him, and said defeating Kamilov for a second title would be an even bigger boost.
“It’s definitely going to give me another confidence boost, seeing that I’m progressing well and can compete with people who have been doing this for awhile,” said Kovalchuk in an interview.
“It’s going to be a great honour to gain more achievements.”
Having faced Mosure, David Garcia and James Nelson in his last three fights respectively, Kovalchuk is no stranger to tough competition.
Kovalchuk said, once again, he’s expecting another stiff challenge in Kamilov, but a challenge he’s looking forward to taking on.
“I’m excited for this fight; my name was on the list for awhile and I didn’t have an opponent,” said Kovalchuk.
“I’m really happy I’m going to fight someone like Ramil as well who holds a good record and is a good fighter.”
In his six amateur fights, Kovalchuk has yet to go the distance, with three of those contests ending in the first round, and the other three in the second round.
With this being a title fight and having the potential to go five rounds, it will be unfamiliar territory for Kovalchuk if it reaches the championship rounds.
But despite not having gone past the second round before, Kovalchuk believes he’s ready to go the full 15 minutes.
“I believe I can actually handle it, even though I’ve never been there and can’t say for sure,” said Kovalchuk.
“My cardio has been pretty good; I’m always working on that. I know how to remain calm during the fight and not gas myself out in the heat of the moment.”
Kamilov Expecting a War
Unlike Kovalchuk, Kamilov, 21, does have plenty of experience going the distance with three of his fights going to the judges scorecards, including his last fight against amateur world champion Jett Grande.
And despite Kovalchuk’s knack for finishing fights, Kamilov said he’s expecting their bout to go the full five rounds.
“He’s just going to be a very, very hard guy to knock out,” said Kamilov in an interview.
“I honestly think I have to out-point and outwork him.”
Although more known for his striking, Kamilov is no slouch in the jiu-jitsu department either, which is an area he’s expecting Kovalchuk to be particularly strong in.
Kamilov said although he knows Kovalchuk is a strong grappler, he said he’s interested to see how that transfers into an MMA fight.
“I do expect him to be a real good jiu-jitsu guy and be a real threat on the ground, but I don’t think he has the ground game or same jiu-jitsu mentality for MMA that I have,” said Kamilov.
“There’s jiu-jitsu rolling and then there’s a different style of it that’s better for MMA that I try to apply.”
Much like Kovalchuk, this will also be Kamilov’s second straight title fight, falling to Grande in the championship final of the 2019 Canadian National Amateur Championships at Rumble in the Cage 61.
As his amateur career begins to wind down and his professional career starts to draw nearer, Kamilov said winning a belt is something he’s always wanted to do before making the jump to the professional ranks.
“That belt would look very nice because of all the amateur fights I have I don’t have any belts or medals to show for it,” said Kamilov.
“I really want that belt, especially the XFFC belt. I really like the look of it.”
“I’d like to thank my team from Dynamic MMA and Okotoks Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for all the training and support they provide me.” Follow Kovalchuk on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM
“I want to give a shoutout to my training partner, Chad Anheliger. He’s been in this game for a long time and it’s very valuable to have a guy like that on my team.” Follow Kamilov on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM