Originally I had to fight Josh Rettinghouse in May, but Josh could not accept the challenge and I started training for the Battle In The Mountains. At that moment I did not know who my opponent was going to be, but later I was told my next title defense will be against Brazilian Rafael Dias.
Dias and Rettinghouse have similar fighting styles, so we did not have to change the training plan, we just focused on my cardio, because the fight will happen up in the mountains at 1500 meters above sea level. So far I’ve been training at home in Ingushetia on flat land, but two weeks before the fight we’ll start training up in the mountains.
Rafael Dias is no easy opponent, he switches stances often and ends his series with nice kicks. I would say his stand up striking and ground game are good, but his wrestling skills are far from outstanding.
On July 21st I’ll do my best to make my fans happy and get the victory on home soil in Ingushetia!