‘I’m aiming for the ACB belt, I will finish Magomedov quick’ – Dean Garnett

As undefeated English bantamweight Dean Garnett is getting ready for his second fight with Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) at their ACB 67 event in Grozny, Russia, on August 19, MMA Today reached out to him to ask about his opponent Magomed Magomedov, future plans and first impressions of Russia.

Garnett, 29, made his ACB debut at their Manchester event, titled ‘ACB 54 Supersonic’ in March. Back then he stopped his opponent, Australian Michael Tobin, in the second round via an impressive spinning back kick to the body.

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That solid performance and a perfect record of 8-0 have put him in a position to fight against ACB’s former bantamweight champion Magomed Magomedov, who lost his belt in his previous fight against Petr Yan at ACB 57 in Moscow in April.

And while Petr Yan will look to defend his belt against an undefeated (11-0) Brazilian Matheus Mattos at ACB 71 at the end of September in Moscow, Magomedov is now desperately looking to get his championship belt back. And victory over Garnett will definitely put him in position for a title fight.

Twenty-five-year-old Dagestan native Magomedov (13-2) has never been beaten inside the distance coming into the ACB 67 fight, but talking over the phone with MMA Today, from Grozny, Russia, where Garnett has already arrived to prepare for the fight, the Englishman told us that finishing his opponent is part of his fight plan.

Denis Geyko: Dean, we know you are already in Grozny. Is it your first visit to Russia? How do you like it so far?

Dean Garnett: Yes, it’s my first time here and I am really impressed by the facilities at Berkut Fight Club, it’s absolutely blowing me away. The people here have been especially welcoming and accommodating. I am expecting more great training over here, especially in terms of wrestling as I am preparing for my fight with Magomedov.

Denis Geyko: What do think of Magomed Magomedov as an opponent?

Dean Garnett: He is a very good opponent. He is very experienced. His wrestling is very good. His kicking game is also strong. But I don’t particularly rate his boxing. I think my boxing is much better. And I don’t believe that he is going to be able to take me down in the fight.

Denis Geyko: Have you watched his fights with (current ACB bantamweight champion) Petr Yan? They have become instant classics in Russian MMA.

Dean Garnett: Yes, I have. And they are indeed good fights to watch. Both fights were very close. Judging by those fights I think he will look to take me down. But as I said, he won’t be able to.

Denis Geyko: What do you think of Yan? Some people say you have a similar style.   

Dean Garnett: I think me and Petr Yan are slightly similar because we like to switch stances a lot. But I think my boxing is a lot better than his. Although his Muay Thai is better than mine. So it will be an interesting match-up when it comes around if he beats Mattos. But again, I think I am too strong at this weight. And my boxing is a lot better than that of both Yan and Magomedov.

Denis Geyko: Do you think that victory over Magomedov will put you in position for a title fight?

Dean Garnett: Yes, I think it should definitely put me in the title picture. So after I get a win on Saturday, I aim to fight the winner of Yan versus Mattos for the belt.

Denis Geyko: What will be your fight plan for Magomedov?

Dean Garnett: My plan is to mix things up. I can do everything – I can throw kicks, knees, punches, elbows, spinning attacks, takedowns, ground and pound, submissions. So, you know, my plan is to finish him as early as possible.

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