Interview with the "Cherepovets Giant" Anton Vyazigin

Interview with the "Cherepovets Giant" Anton Vyazigin
Russian heavyweight "Cherepovets Giant" Anton Vyazigin (9-2-1, M-1: 4-1-0) challenges MMA living legend Sergey Kharitonov (27-6-0, M-1: 5-0-0) next Thursday (May 24), headlining M-1 Challenge 92 in a heavyweight SuperFight, at M-1 Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The 37-year-old Kharitonov, undefeated in five M-1 Challenge events, has defeated some of the greatest heavyweight MMA fighters of all-time, including Alister Overeem, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum and Pedro Rizzo. The 6' 6", 265-pound Vyazigin, who is coming off a sensational 16-seconds knockout of Zaur Gadzhibabayev this past March at M-1 Challenge 89, sat in the "hot seat" leading up to Thursday's showdown to answer some questions: Tell us about your training camp. Did you change a lot of your regular training methods for a fight against Kharitonov? AV: "My training camp was no different from any other camp. As always, I had many sparring sessions, wrestled a lot, and was focused on functional training. In general, it was just another camp. I trained at home in Cherepovets, because this is where I belong. I have good relations with fighters from many gyms, but I have never gone anywhere to a training camp. I don't have enough money to go abroad for a camp, I work for myself. I feel comfortable training in my gym. I have a great team, including some heavyweights, and we always help each other. If I have a fight scheduled, guys help me; if some other guys have fights, we all help them." How much will you weigh for the fight? AV: "I think this time I will be at least 265 pounds before the fight, maybe even a bit heavier. I would not say I am that huge, there are many guys bigger than me. When I was a child, I used to be skinny and tall and only when I was in the Army did I start to gain weight. Now, when I am 265 pounds. I breath good, and I think this weight is perfect for me. " What are your predictions for the upcoming fight? Are you going to fight Kharitonov standing or would like to take him down? AV: "In our weight class, one missed punch can end the fight, so I think we have equal chances to win this fight. During camp, we train for everything, so I will be ready to fight him standing but, if needed, I will take him down, because it is very important in MMA to be able to change the game plan during the fight." Give us your thoughts on the vacant M-1 Challenge heavyweight title. Do you see yourself as champion in a couple more fights? AV: "Now, I am concentrated on the upcoming fight but, yes, definitely if I win this fight I will be the No. 1 heavyweight contender. However, I do not think about it right now. My goal is to fight the strongest and most experienced opponents, who are rated higher than me. I am fighting in Saint-Petersburg not for the first time and I really enjoy competing in this city. I think some fans will root for Sergey, but there will also be a lot of fans supporting me in the M-1 Arena on May 24th!"
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