Calgary, Alta.’s Ramil Kamilov is looking to add another amateur belt to his collection.
The former XFFC welterweight champion Kamilov (6-3) will be heading back out east to Quebec to square off with Charles Azoulay (2-1) for the vacant MFL lightweight championship at MFL 19 on Saturday night.
It’s been a steady climb with just a few setbacks for Kamilov as an amateur, and he said much of his success can be attributed to a high-level training environment.
“Champions Creed is a great gym. How could I not mention Hakeem Dawodu, who I have been sparring with since I was a teenager, and have now become an important sparring partner for him for most of his UFC fights,” Kamilov said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I have great sparring partners and a growing team of newer amateur fighters who I am excited to pass my knowledge on to. Everybody, including the retired pros (shoutout Will Monzon), have something to show me at our gym. I see our gym in the next five years becoming a real powerhouse.”
Kamilov, 24, has come a long way since he first stepped into a cage in 2017, and the lifelong fighter has really started to find his groove over the last year.
“I no longer rely purely on aggression,” Kamilov said.
“The fire is still there, but I am now better able to channel it and control it.”
When it came to preparing for his upcoming title fight, Kamilov mentioned he wasn’t working on anything specific for his opponent Azoulay.
He said he wanted to focus on himself and is always in the gym looking for ways to improve.
“I have been training the whole time since my last fight. I actually train more hours outside of training camp at a lesser intensity. It’s where I learn new skills and evolve as a fighter,” Kamilov said.
“During training camps I train less hours, but at a more intense pace. This gets me into fight shape and gets my speed and my weight proper. This way I don’t have the pressure of learning new skills when I’m tensed up and cutting weight in fight camp and it is also not a big deal if I miss a training session due to being exhausted.”
No matter who it is standing across the cage, Kamilov is always prepared to put on an exciting show for the fans.
He said his dedication to the sport is one of the many qualities that set him apart from other fighters at this level.
“What sets me apart is my mentality, my dedication, my open mind, and my desire to learn, evolve, and to compare myself to only the best of the best,” Kamilov said.
There’s no denying it will be the biggest opportunity so far in Kamilov’s young career, but it’s one he feels he’s more than ready for.
As always, he’ll make the walk to the cage with the utmost respect for his opponent and some bad intentions. Kamilov knows his opponent has a great training camp and is excited for the challenges he’ll face on fight night.
“Charles Azoulay comes from the well-respected, legendary Tristar Gym,” Kamilov said.
“I have not found much footage of him. All I have seen is a few exchanges in one of his fights in 2018. In three years, a fighter can make tremendous growth, so I cannot expect him to have the same skill. What I do see is that he is taller than me, he has a solid chin, he is an aggressive and game fighter and has a good gas tank. This should be an exciting matchup; we will see who the alpha is in that ring on July 24.”
“My coach and mentor Brian Bird at Champions Creed. Also to my sponsors from day one before anybody knew about me or cared about me – Deagla Shawarma for helping me make this cut to 155. I couldn’t do it without their homemade pita bread shawarmas. Wisemen Barbershop for giving me the best fades. They are also in the same plaza in Legacy as the Deagla shop, so you can stop by to get a cut and get a donair. Scalp Tech Inc. – a local scalp micro pigmentation specialist to help my balding brothers. @knoledge47 on Instagram – a Montreal jeweler that ships Canada wide. He’s hooking me up with a new chain to go with my new belt!” Follow Kamilov on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM