Photo Credit: Brian Bouland's Instagram

“MMA Is Not BJJ” – Brian Bouland not concerned about Ilia Topuria’s ground game ahead of CW 94 Title Clash

On Saturday, Brian Bouland will fight for the Cage Warriors bantamweight title in his home country of Belgium at Cage Warriors 94. His opponent is the relatively unknown Spaniard, Ilia Topuria who is making his promotional debut.

In his last fight, Bouland upset hometown favorite Josh Reed with a devastating ground and pound knockout which silenced the Welsh fans. Many were surprised by the dominant nature of Bouland’s victory as Reed was coming off a title shot in which he gave the champion all he could handle.

“It was a clean victory. Josh Reed try three times to keep me in a guillotine [sic] but it was too much. I defended, waiting he let it go. Then I created distance and worked on my standing ground and pound.”

Following his big win, the Belgian called for a title shot against then-champion Nathaniel Wood. However, shortly after Wood defended his title and got the call-up to the UFC thus vacating the title. Bouland was confident that he would get the title shot and was not bothered who he would have to face to win it.

“I’m focus on the title [sic], so I have no preference. I know I can beat everybody in the division. Nathaniel too and he is a valuable name. Maybe I will beat him in the UFC.”

Bouland’s opponent Ilia Topuria is making his Cage Warriors debut and immediately getting a title shot. Such practice is not uncommon in Cage Warriors as Luca Iovine faced Nathaniel Wood for the title in his first fight for the promotion as well.

In his career so far, Topuria has largely been a grappler with all of his five wins coming by way of submission. The Spaniard also holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Despite his opponent’s seemingly dangerous ground game, Bouland is not fazed by the challenge.

“It’s a good match-up for me. Ilia looks like a lot of fighters I beat before [sic]. I’m really good at striking [sic] and sneaky in grappling and wrestling. He’s never met someone like me before.”

“I’m confident in every aspect in MMA. MMA is not BJJ and I’m feeling like a black belt in the MMA ground aspect.”

The upcoming fight will be Bouland’s first fight on home soil in over five years. He understands that he will have to bear additional pressure on his shoulders and perform obligations outside of the cage. However, Bouland it to finally fight in Belgium and tick off one of his long-term goals.

“I’m looking forward to fighting in Belgium. It was one of my vision to fight for a world title in Belgium. There are always pressure in MMA but fighting in Belgium I have media solicitations [sic] but I enjoy this part of the job and I’m ready for more.”

Should Bouland come out victorious from his clash against Topuria, he will in pole position to earn a UFC contract in the near future. A large number of Cage Warrior alumnus now compete in the UFC with Conor McGregor, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Nathaniel Wood. Bound believes that that with a win on Saturday he will be the next Cage Warriors fighter to join the ranks of the UFC.

“Yes, I believe in that. I’m a really spectacular fighter looking always for a great win. And I’m pretty sure than my goals could fit well with UFC goals.”

Bouland does not simply want to get into the UFC, his ambitions lie way beyond that. He wants to establish himself as one of the top bantamweights in the world, put on exciting fights every time he fights and earn good money along the way.

To learn more about Brian Bouland, follow him on social media:

Twitter: @BrianBoulandMMA

Instagram: @BrianBouland

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