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Interview by Bezimyanniy with Alexandra Albu and her manager Andrey Tsarkov

Bezimyanniy – Hello Andrey. It is good to meet you again. Nice to see that after all this time Alexandra and you can prepare for her UFC debut without any interruptions. Can you tell us how UFC brass reacted to the news about Alexandra not being able to compete because of her injury?
Andrey Tsarkov – Our manager Sam Kardan has contacted them about it. There was no negativity from them. They gave us time to recuperate fully. We had all medical papers in order so there were no problems at all.
So there is a big uproar now raging through the MMA community. I’m talking of course about steroid allegations. Especially after Anderson Silva getting caught for PEDs. Some say he used prescribed drugs to boost the healing process of his infamous leg injury. Not long ago Alexandra suffered serious leg injury too and had to go with surgery. Did she get any medications that can jeopardize test results? No, there was nothing like that. The operation was seven months ago. Most of the time after that we only used physiotherapy and healing power of time.

Bez – Alexandra’s opponent is quite a big girl for her weight class and a good grappler too. How did you train for her? More of grappling or striking?
AT – Oh. We have a complex training regime. We train ground game and stand-up equally.

Bez – Alexandra’s UFC debut is nearing closer. Is she worried? What do you tell Alexandra to prepare her for such experience?
AT – Most of mental preparation will be done right before the fight. And during the camp she gets her confidence from training itself by feeling stronger and more complete fighter as camp progresses. Around same time we break down her opponent, possible situations during the fight which is always helpful for the fighter’s mental state.

Bez – Who is going with you to Poland? How many guys from the team does the UFC even allow?
AT – The UFC pays for a fighter and coach. We’ll probably have one of Sasha’s sparring partners with us. Sam (Kardan) will join us in Poland.

Bez – Every fighter these days has a banner. Do you have one? And if yes, who will be represented on it?
AT – Yeah, our banner is ready. We will have logos of our team “MMA-KEGI, Sam Kardan’s “Red Fury” and our sponsor Warrior company. We would like to express gratitude to all who helped us. Especially to Stanislav Nikolsky who helped us organize training the way we wanted.

Bez – Got any free space on your banner?
AT – Yes. We are open to suggestions.

Bez – Alexandra, good to see you in such good spirits. Can you tell us about your injury that has kept you from debuting in the UFC for so long?
Alexandra Albu – I tore my ACL in training and injured my meniscus. They had to stitch ACL together. Rehabilitation took seven months.

Bez – At first you planned to fight at bantamweight… Since then the UFC has introduced strawweight. How did you react to this? Was it a blessing in disguise?
AA – Actually it is my real weight. I don’t need to put on extra weight and I feel great.

Bez – How much do you weight right now?
AA – Around 122 lbs.

Bez – Would it be a problem for you to drop seven pounds? ‘Cause honestly you don’t look like you have much excessive weight.
AA – Oh, no it wouldn’t be a problem at all. Before my last fight I had dropped six pounds in about two hours because of some problems. With proper preparation it will be easy.

Bez – The girl you are fighting, Isabella Badurek, fought as featherweight and is kinda bigger than you. What is your gameplan against a bigger grappler?
AA – I don’t see this as a problem. I train with male lightweights all the time. Honestly, I don’t think there are any teams around here that can compare to MMA-KEGI in intensity of training. As of sparring, I spar mostly with men but sometimes with girls too.

Bez – You have pretty good grappling yourself, but we haven’t seen you compete in grappling much. Why is that?
AA – Huh? I competed a lot in Russian grappling tournaments before the injury. I would like to grapple at higher level in future but right now I concentrate on my UFC debut.

Bez – You look very athletic compared to most WMMA fighters. Can you give us your secret? How do you train, what do you eat?
AA – I train at least ten times a week. It includes MMA, crossfit and cardio training. Sunday is a resting day. I use sports nutrition. I try to eat healthy all the time.

Bez – Do you regret you will be debuting in Poland? If it was in the USA you could’ve visited famous camps and maybe learn something new.
AA – I would’ve preferred going to the USA for my debut honestly. To train with real professionals, meet other girls, even meet Ronda Rousey. But Poland is good too. The best thing is that I won’t have to acclimatize at all.

Bez – And if you had the opportunity? What teams do you wanna visit most?
AA – I don’t really have particular one in mind. I think Sam Kardan can arrange something and hook us up with right connections. I definitely want to meet Ronda Rousey. She is very experienced and shows something new and different every other year. I’d like to meet Cris Cyborg too.

Bez – And what about male fighters?
AA – Hmm, hard to tell. Let me remember. The blonde one with a beard. Ah yes, I remember. Connor McGregor. Great fighter and he is fast.

Bez – In your last interview you said you liked Cyborg more. Have you changed your mind?
AA – I like that Ronda became much more well-rounded. Her striking is much more different than before. I like Cyborg too. Her last performance was a pure dominance. She still packs a huge punch.

Bez – Sam Kardan is from the Caucasus and Ronda is pretty much armenian. There is a clear connection you can use to get to Glendale academy.
AA – I would like to. But it depends if anybody can sponsor to make such a trip. We go to Thailand by ourselves but the USA would’ve been much more interesting.

Bez – Maryna Moroz also debuts in Krakow against Joanne Calderwood. Do you know her?
AA – Yes, yes I saw her but have not actually met. She looked really strong but slim at the same time.

Bez – Have you watched TUF 20?
AA – Only some episodes. I would like to watch the entire season but time is a luxury I cannot afford. Actually I don’t follow fight businesses closely. If I have an opponent we pretty much concentrate on her. No time for anything else.

Bez – Many people still say that MMA and combat sports in general are not for women. What can you say to these people?
AA – I don’t really know what to say. I like martial arts and have been training since I was ten. I have trained in MMA for five years. So who is to say that martial arts are not for women?

Bez – Can you give us your twitter or instagram account for your fans to follow?
AA – Yes, I have an instagram account it is @stitchalbu… Also https://twitter.com/albustich is my twitter account but I haven’t posted anything lately.

Bez – Have you decided on your walkout song?
AA – Yep. It will be Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”.

Bez – If your opponent Izabela reads this interview, what would you like to tell her?
AA – Good luck. Have patience and stay away from the injuries.

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Stepping in on just four weeks’ notice, TUF 20 semi-finalist Randa “Quiet Storm” Markos is set to compete in her second official UFC bout on April 25th at UFC 186: “Johnson vs Horiguchi” in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Markos takes on Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly in strawweight action.

UFC officials confirmed the fight following a report from MMAFighting.com. Daly was initially slated to face Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 64 in Poland, but Gadelha withdrew due to a back injury. Daly now competes two weeks later against her fellow TUF 20 castmate, Markos.

To read the full article, (click here).

MMA: UFC 185-Esparza vs JedrzejczykMARCH RESULTS

Sunday – 1st
– Ji Yeon Kim defeats Miki Miyauchi via TKO at :18 of round 2 at Gladiator 81

Explosion MMA 5
– Pamela Boveda defeats Kessiny Mara via Armbar in round 2
– Stephanie Bragayrac defeats Paula Viera da Silva via Armbar at 1:16 of round 1

Curitiba Top Fight 9
– Priscila de Souza defeats Marta “Gladiadora” Souza via Armbar in round 1
– Isabely Varela defeats Ariane Lipski via Unanimous Decision
– Jady Menezes defeats Jessica Suelen via TKO in round 2
– Anne “Karol Mutante” Karoline defeats Graziele Ricotta via Armbar in round 2

Wednesday – 4th
– Jennifer Johnston defeats Denali Barnett via TKO in round 3 at Alaska FC 114

Friday – 6th
– Kali Robbins defeats Corrie Ward via RNC at 3:24 of round 2 at RFA 24

Saturday – 7th
– Gisele Campos defeats Bruna Lima via Unanimous Decision at ABCF Fighting

– “Karol Mutante” defeats Helaine Ribeiro via Armbar in round 2 at Curitiba Fight Pro 3

– Ana Caroline Dos Santos defeats Hevellynn Letiia Pais via TKO at 3:36 of round 1 at AFF 2

Friday – 13th
– Cortney Casey defeats Helen Harper via TKO in round 1 at PXC 47

– Erica Grover defeats Jenna Bernick via TKO in round 1 at Steelfist Fight Night 32

– Jenny Silverio defeats Rachel Sazoff via Unanimous Decision at HOF: Nations Collide – USA vs Cuba

– Sarah Payant defeats Janice Meyer via Triangle Choke in round 3 at CES MMA 28

ONE Championship 25: Age of Champions
– Ann Osman defeats Walaa Abbas via RNC at 2:23 of round 1
– Kirstie Gannaway defeats April Osenio via RNC at 2:50 of round 2

Saturday – 14th
– Aline Sattelmayer defeats Cristmi Niero Páfaro via Armbar in round 3 at Kampfer Fight Championship 1

– Priscila Ferreira defeats ‘Karol Mutante’ via Submission at 3:57 of round 1 at Striker’s House 47

– Yahaira Romo defeats Wendy Arellano via Unanimous Decision at Xtreme Kombat 29

UFC 185
– Joanna Jedrzejczyk defeats Carla Esparza via TKO at 4:17 of round 2
– Germaine de Randamie defeats Larissa Pacheco via TKO at 2:02 of round 2

XFCi 9
– Poliana Botelho defeats Antonia Silvaneide via KO at 1:36 of round 1
– Julia Berezikova defeats Julie Werner via Kneebar at 1:35 of round 2
– Viviane Pereira defeats Liana Pirosin via Unanimous Decision
– Vuokko Katainen defeats Dora Perjes via Unanimous Decision

Sunday – 15th
– Lindsay Garbatt defeats Shiori Hori via TKO at 1:01 of round 1 at Pancrase – 265

– Anna Elmose defeats Aitek Emadi via TKO in round 2 at MMA Gladiators

Monday – 16th
RXF 17
– Cristina Stanciu defeats Alice Ardelean via Unanimous Decision
– Diana Belbita defeats Renata Cseh-Lantos via Unanimous Decision

Thursday – 19th
– Magdalena Sormova defeats Melitta Ignacz via TKO in round 1 at Bitva Roku 2015

Friday – 20th
– Claire Todd defeats Natalie Gonzales via TKO at 3:39 of round 3 at Brace 32

– Montana Stewart defeats Colby Fletcher via Armlock in round 1 at Rumble on the River 12

– Chaleur Jones defeats Jessica Maruszczak via RNC at 2:12 of round 1 at XFFC 6

– Carolina Munoz defeats Evelin Caballero via TKO at 1:33 of round 2 at UCC 23

Saturday – 21st
– Amanda Nunes defeats Shayna Baszler via TKO at 1:56 of round 1 at UFC Fight Night 62

– Maria Andaverde defeats Jaimelene Nievera via TKO at 1:14 of round 1 at Dragon House 19

– Maddison Skinner defeats Maxine O’Neil via TKO(Corner Stoppage) at 1:37 of round 2 at Storm Damage 6

– Moriel Charneski defeats Katie Scharmer via TKO in round 2 at March Badness

– Taila Santos defeats Gabriela Bueno via Submission at 1:17 of round 1 at MMA Total Combat 2

Hungarian Fight Championship 8
– Irena Racz defeats Fruzsina Nagy via TKO at 2:35 of round 3
– Fruzsina Nagy defeats Alexa Meksz* via TKO at 1:23 of round 1

Thursday – 26th
– Sabina Mazo defeats Alejandra Lara via Unanimous Decision at Striker FC 18

– Erica Paes defeats Evelin Gomez via Armbar in round 1 at Circuito De MMA Team Nogueira

Friday – 27th
– Lucie Pudilova defeats Julia Stoliarenko via TKO at 5:00 of round 2 at GCF: Back in the Fight 4

– Aya Saeid defeats Fathia Mostafa via TKO in round 1 at EFC: War Against Terrorism

Saturday – 28th
– Sarah Patterson defeats Kate Bloomfield via RNC at 1:50 of round 1 at DCS 15

– Marina Rodriguez defeats Silvania Monteiro via TKO at 5:00 of round 1 at Sao Jose Super Fight 6

– Vanessa Rico defeats Molina Noëlia via Armbar at 3:18 of round 1 at Young Blood Night 4: War Zone

– Bruna Ellen defeats Elen Torres via Unanimous Decision at Max Fight 14

Sunday – 29th
– Taila Santos defeats Daniela Cristina via TKO at :36 of round 1 at Aspera FC 16

*Rankings info supplied by the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings.

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Press Release – Invicta Fighting Championships today announced the entire fight card for Invicta FC 12, which will stream live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass on Friday, April 24, from the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.

Headlining the event will be a strawweight title fight between Katja Kankaanpää (10-1-1) and Livia Renata Souza (7-0).

Finland’s Kankaanpää captured Invicta gold at Invicta FC 8 in September with a fifth-round submission win over Stephanie Eggink. The 33-year-old has amassed 10 wins in her 12 career fights and will look to defend her 115-pound belt for the first time.

The Brazilian Souza will enter the contest with an unblemished record. Six of the 24-year-old’s wins have come via submission, including five in the first round. The fight with Kankaanpää will also be Souza’s promotional debut.

In the night’s co-main event, flyweight Roxanne Modafferi (17-11) will square off with Brazilian Vanessa Porto (17-6). The pair met previously in 2008, with Modafferi earning a third-round TKO victory. Modafferi has earned back-to-back wins inside the Invicta cage, earning decisions over Tara LaRosa and Andrea Lee. Porto, who challenged for the Invicta title at Invicta FC 5, also rides a two-fight winning streak, including a decision win over Zoila Frausto at Invicta FC 7.

The full 10-fight card for Invicta FC 12:
Strawweight Title: Katja Kankaanpää (10-1-1) vs Livia Renata Souza (7-0)
Flyweight: Roxanne Modafferi (17-11) vs Vanessa Porto (17-6)
Featherweight: Amanda Bell (3-2) vs Faith Van Duin (4-1)
Bantamweight: Ediane Gomes (10-3) vs Raquel Pa’aluhi (4-4)
Featherweight: Peggy Morgan (3-2) vs Latoya Walker (4-0)
Strawweight: Lacey Schuckman (10-8) vs Jenny Liou (3-1)
Atomweight: Cassie Rodish (5-4) vs Stephanie Skinner (4-5)
Strawweight: Delaney Owen (3-1) vs Sharon Jacobson (2-1)
Flyweight: Shannon Sinn (1-2) vs Maureen Riordon (0-1)
Flyweight: Roma Pawelek (1-0) vs Sijara Eubanks (0-0)

Tickets for Invicta FC 12 will be available for sale tomorrow, March 27, at 10 a.m. CDT at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, and the Municipal Auditorium box office.

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Press Release – Invicta Fighting Championships has added three new bouts to Invicta FC 12 which takes place Friday, April 24 from the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.

In the night’s co-main event, flyweight Roxanne Modafferi (17-11) will square off with Brazilian Vanessa Porto (17-6). The pair met previously in 2008, with Modafferi earning a third-round TKO victory. Modafferi has earned back-to-back wins inside the Invicta cage, earning decisions over Tara LaRosa and Andrea Lee. Porto, who challenged for the Invicta title at Invicta FC 5, also rides a two-fight winning streak, including a decision win over Zoila Frausto at Invicta FC 7.

Joining the Modafferi-Porto fight will be two featherweight contests. New Zealand’s Faith Van Duin (4-1) will make her promotional debut against the resurgent Amanda Bell (3-2), while Peggy Morgan (3-2) returns to welcome Latoya Walker (4-0) to the promotion.

Invicta FC 12 will stream live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. Headlining the event will be a strawweight title fight between Finland’s Katja Kankaanpää (10-1-1) and Brazil’s Livia Renata Souza (7-0).

Ticket information and additional bouts for Invicta FC 12 will be announced at a later date.

Invicta FC 12 current fight card:
Strawweight title: Katja Kankaanpää (10-1-1) vs Livia Renata Souza (7-0)
Flyweight: Roxanne Modafferi (17-11) vs Vanessa Porto (17-6)
Featherweight: Faith Van Duin (4-1) vs Amanda Bell (3-2)
Featherweight: Peggy Morgan (3-2) vs Latoya Walker (4-0)

*Rankings info supplied by the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings.

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UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is set to make the next defence of her title on August 1st at UFC 190: “Rousey vs Correia” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rousey meets outspoken and undefeated Brazilian contender Bethe “Pitbull” Correia in the night’s main event.

UFC officials formally announced the title fight on Friday following reports from Tatame and Globo. Rousey most recently submitted “Alpha” Cat Zingano in 14 seconds at UFC 184. Correia is 2-0 against Rousey’s “Four Horsewomen” stable, with wins over Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler.

Rousey (11-0-0) enters the August title tilt as a massive favourite among oddsmakers, and the Olympic bronze medallist will have added motivation as she looks to avenge her fellow Horsewomen’s recent defeats. Now 5-0 inside the Octagon, Rousey has finished all but one of her UFC opponents inside the first round, with only rival Miesha “Cupcake” Tate surviving until round three. Her two most recent bouts, against Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis and Zingano, lasted a combined time of just 30 seconds, and Rousey is regarded by some as the biggest star on the UFC’s roster today.

Correia (9-0-0) began her UFC career with a close decision win over veteran Julie “Fireball” Kedzie in late 2013, but it was her 2014 campaign that made fans take note of Correia’s talents. After defeating Duke in April, Correia set her sights on the rest of the “Four Horsewomen” faction, and she handily dispatched of Baszler at UFC 177 in August. Since then, Correia has made no secret of her desire to challenge the leader of the Horsewomen, Rousey, and she will look to score a major upset when she gets her championship shot in front of a partisan crowd in Brazil.

The Rousey-Correia victor is expected to move on to face the winner of a targeted June contender’s bout between the aforementioned Miesha Tate (16-5-0) and Jessica “Evil” Eye (11-2-0, 1 ND). An exact date, location and event for the Tate-Eye title eliminator has not yet been officially announced, but UFC President Dana White stated on Friday that the fight will take place sometime in June.

Original article posted (here).

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TUF 20 semi-finalist Jessica Penne looks for her second victory inside the Octagon when she returns to action at UFC Fight Night 67 on May 30th in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. The former Invicta FC champion is expected to face off against veteran Brazilian contender Juliana “Ju Thai” de Lima Carneiro.

Combat Press first reported on the targeted matchup today. Penne won her UFC debut in December when she edged out fellow TUF 20 semi-finalist Randa “Quiet Storm” Markos. Lima bounced back from a loss in her first UFC bout by defeating Nina “The Strina” Ansaroff at UFC Fight Night 56.

To read the full article, (click here).