Russian flyweight prospect Diana Avsaragova has talked up the need to make a “loud statement” as she prepares for her Bellator MMA debut next month, also asserting that women are “more aggressive” than men in the cage.
After a hiatus of almost two years, the 22-year-old Avsaragova will finally return to action when she lines up against American Tara Graff at Bellator 256 on April 9 in Connecticut.
The North Ossetia native – who has two wins from two professional outings thus far – is currently putting the finishing touches to her training camp in Chechen capital Grozny before jetting out to the US.
Her opponent Graff, 34, enters the contest with one more professional MMA contest under her belt, but is riding on the back of two successive defeats, having been brutally knocked out by fan favorite Valerie Loureda in the second round of their contentious meeting last August.
Despite the brutal nature of that defeat – which was followed by the victorious Loureda twerking in the cage for extra measure – Avsaragova said she wasn’t complacent about the threat posed by the American.
“I never relax at all. Even if I know for sure that I can win, I still always remain focused,” the Russian told Metaratings.
Avsaragova’s preparation is taking place without close friend and training partner, UFC fighter Liana Jojua.
Jojua is currently Stateside, although Avsaragova said the Georgian star would be there to meet her at the airport when she arrives in the US.
“I really miss Liana very much, here (in Grozny) now I don’t even have anyone to walk with, usually we always spend our free time together,” said the pining Avsaragova.
“Liana’s waiting for me in America, she’ll meet me at the airport in New York.
“I’ll fly there 10 days before the fight, and from that moment we’ll be together, Liana will be in my corner on the day of the fight.”
‘Pantera’ will be aiming to make a name for herself as another Russian female fighter in a major MMA promotion – but lamented that women’s fighters in her homeland don’t garner the attention that she feels is warranted.
“I don’t know why female fights are not so developed in our country. Perhaps people are simply not so interested in this yet… To be honest, I’d like to know the reason myself,” she said.
“After all, women’s fights are much more interesting, girls are much more aggressive.”
Avsaragova admitted that her own fighting exploits previously extended to brawling with boys during her teenage years.
“The most interesting thing is that I never fought girls, only boys. And they all wrote complaints against me,” said the up-and-coming Russian.
“I don’t know, maybe it’s because we were teenagers… We were 14 or 15 years old. I actually only fought back then, at school…
“No one ever bullied me, no one insulted me. Once I stood up for a friend, the second time – for a neighbor. In general, I always stood up for someone. I don’t remember getting into a fight purely for myself.”
Avsaragova joined Jojua for her last octagon outing on Fight Island in October, but said she was not in any particular rush to reach the promotion, having signed a six-fight deal with Bellator.
“To be honest, I’m not strongly aiming to get (to the UFC),” said the dark-haired fighter, who boasts a healthy Instagram following of more than 147,000, and has previously admitted to being bombarded with marriage proposals on the platform.
“I’m completely satisfied with the current deal at Bellator – I have six fights under the contract, the contract itself is for two years.
“Now the main thing for me is to fight, to make a loud statement about myself. We’ll see how things go from there.”
The chance to make that statement will come soon enough, with Avsaragova now just over two weeks away from her long-awaited Bellator arrival.