Serhiy Sidey aiming to be the first to knockout Austin Russell in BFL 72 title defence

Serhiy Sidey has been rolling since coming into the Vancouver, B.C.-based BFL promotion.

Burlington, Ont.’s Sidey (6-1) will now face a new challenger at BFL 72 when he defends his BFL bantamweight championship against undefeated Austin Russell (3-0). Sidey won the vacant BFL bantamweight championship over Gio Platon at BFL 68¬†and two shows later at BFL 70 he had a fourth round TKO win over Ali Wasuk.

Sidey, 25, welcomes the new challenge of Russell, who he feels can give him the best fight going forward.

“I’m a fan of Austin; I saw his last fight vs. Gio (Platon). He fought in the co-main event before my fight and he got hit with two illegal strikes and he was rocked. He showed his heart, he showed how tough and durable he is and he’s a true fighter, and I really do respect that,” said Sidey in an interview with MMA Empire.

“I am just so excited to test my skills against this kind of guy because I know it’s going to take a lot to put him out. He’s never been finished, so that’s my goal for this fight, to be the first guy to finish this guy and I got five rounds to do that. He’s well-rounded everywhere, he’s been an underdog and I’ve been an underdog too. He’s going to bring out the best in me, and I need people to bring out the best in me so I can really showcase my skills. Even in my last fight, I was fighting on auto pilot, I was on cruise control. I didn’t really have to show off the skills I wanted to show off so I’m hoping (Austin Russell) pushes me to bring out all my weapons, all my tools and dig deep.”

With a win at BFL 72 over Russell and a second title defence, Sidey hopes to get a call from the UFC to fight on Dana White’s Contender Series this summer.

“I think this is my time. I’ve been working very hard for this and I think my skill level is there. I truly believe it; I feel like I’m levels ahead of all these local guys and I need that step up in competition and the Contenders Series is going to be perfect for it.”

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