Interview with the Chechen UFC fighter and Khabib’s AKA and Eagles MMA team mate Zubaira ”Tiger” Tukhugov. http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Zubaira-Tukhugov-63813 They discussed a lot of things in this interview, but I will just highlight and translate the topics that I thought were the most interesting. ABOUT DISQUALIFICATION AND UPCOMING FIGHT IN UFC IN RUSSIA - Zubaira tell me please, your disqualification period is soon coming to an end. Do you have any thoughts, are there any offers about fights? Good day to everyone. Before my flight from NY to Moscow, I spoke to my manager and the UFC. UFC’s matchmaker told me that I’m needed in Moscow, in Russia on the tournament that will take place in September. They’ll try to put me on that card, but it’s unsure if they’ll be able to. If they can’t put me on that card, the next tournament will be in Las Vegas on 7th of October. 99% they’ll put me on that card or the Russia card. - For the Russian event UFC are obviously going to make an emphasis on Russian fighters. Do you know or maybe heard any rumours about other fighters that are going to be on the card? To be honest I don’t know who will be headlining or of any fighters that would like to participate. - There are rumours about Volkov vs Ngannou.. That is very likely that he will be headlining. - What about your fight. Who would you like to see as your opponent? It really makes no difference. I have always fought whoever I was given. - But are you interested if fighting any particular fighters? Yes, but it’s not really time to discuss that, because first I have to make a comeback and win at least 1-2 fights. Then I can speak up and challenge fighters from top 15 or top 10. But for now I’ll wait and see what fight UFC will offer me and we’ll take it from there. - Please tell us about your disqualification and how that substance ended p in your body? It was unexpected. I was absolutely sure that a thing like that could never and will never happen to me. I have told in several interviews that there’s a vitamin called Ecdysterone. I got it from a doctor, but it is sold in Moscow in sports supplement shops. It’s not forbidden, and I have drank it for almost 3 years. But before my flight, when I got caught, I bought the supplement from another person and it was a fake. So it contained other substances then the ones that were on the label. Therefor my blood contained the forbidden substance. And I could not explain it, because there is not way to explain it. - So you tried to explain this to the medical commission, but they did not believe you? Yes, I brought them the package and told them that it’s these supplements that I take. They told me that we’ll let you of the hook and clear you if you admit that you took these supplements. But I did not admit, and it turned out like this. So, since I didn’t tell them before that I was taking this supplement, they claimed that I knew what I was taking. Since I couldn’t prove my innocence they suspended me for two years. (…) RUSSIAN PROSPECTS AND LEVEL OF FIGHTERS IN UFC - You fought for the promotion Fight Nights before going to UFC. Which of the Russian promotions would you say is the strongest at the moment. There is no secret that ACB is the strongest promotion in Russia at the moment. ACB is growing as a promotion as well as level of competition. All fighters want to come to ACB now. We can see that the biggest fighters are signing with ACB, so they are number one at the moment. - Since we’re taking about ACB, highlight the 3 best fighters in ACB at the moment. There are many good fighters, but it would be incorrect of me to say any names. But there are many good ones that are about at the same level. But if I have to say then I like Yusuf Raisov (12-1) and Abdul Aziz Abdulvakhabov (15-1). http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Abdul-Aziz-Abdulvakhabov-85495 http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Yusuf-Raisov-161785 Not because they are Chechen, it’s because I like how they fight. They always have entertaining fights. There are many fighters like that, but I can’t name them all. - Could they be leading fighters in the UFC? Of course, I think they deserve a UFC contract. I think they would be able to handle themselves and get into the top-10. I have no doubts about that. Just because some fighters are in the UFC doesn’t mean that they are super humans, no! It’s the same fighters as Yusuf and Aziz, I don’t see how they would be better. I also performed in Fight Nights first and if I can be competitive there, why couldn’t they be? Of course, they would be. (…) KHABIB VS LOBOV CONFLICT, ZUBAIRA CALLING OUT LOBOV - One of the main questions right now that interests everyone. It’s not a secret for anyone that there was a conflict between Khabib and Artem Lobov in the hotel lobby. (Video of incident) You were there and witnessed the whole situation. There are many myths and rumours about this. Let us get it all straight, tell us what happened there? I will keep it short. We all know what Artem said in his interviews. It’s simple, first time Khabib met him, he forced Artem to answer for his words. And he couldn’t answer. That’s all. How he couldn’t answer and how it happened, you all saw on the video. - Zubaira, Artem told me personally after the incident that he wants to fight Khabib 1vs1 outside of the octagon. (Video of interview with Artem) I will say my opinion, I think that you are popular and grown up people who serve as an example to the youth and I think that you should bury this conflict. What do you think, maybe they should look for ways for reconciliation? Ok so you said your opinion, alright. When they stood face to face and Khabib forced him to answer for his words, when the whole world know what he said, but he denies everything and says that he didn’t say anything. Except for the three words “I didn’t say” he couldn’t say anything to Khabib. So what do you think about him wanting a 1 vs 1 against Khabib. Anybody can say whatever, talk is cheap. - If UFC gives you a fight with Artem Lobov, will you accept it? About two years ago, I myself came to UFC and asked for a fight against Lobov in Ireland. They didn’t give it to me. I didn’t really want to go around giving interviews and talk about him, but since you asked I will say my opinion. I strongly await this moment. Not only today, but for a long time. If I am offered this fight, I will accept it with pleasure and fight him. - Are you prepared to fight him anywhere? If it’s on Artems turf in Ireland… It doesn’t matter. Fighting is a joy for me. I get a kick out of it. Wherever the fight takes place, I’ll go there and fight him. ............................................... Who do you have in that fight? This could be a nice pre-fight for Khabib vs McGregor. This could also be a start of an entertaining camp feud between Eagles MMA and SBG Ireland. It would be an entertaining stand up war between two fighters who genuinely dislike each other. Lobov tries to keep his fights standing and tries to copy (with some minor success) Conor's unorthodox striking style. Tukhugov is a ruthless banger alá Wanderlei Silva in his prime. Gonna be sparks in this fight.