Misha Cirkunov ready to show he's top-15 caliber at UFC Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Misha Cirkunov is taking on another tough up-and-comer, and he’s looking to show that he belongs at the top of the light heavyweight division.

Cirkunov (14-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) faces undefeated Jimmy Crute (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC on ESPN+ 16, and he’s happy to be taking on another highly touted prospect. Cirkunov believes that’s the way he’ll be able to climb back up the 205-pound ranks.

“It’s another tough guy,” Cirkunov told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “But at the same time, if you put on a good performance, and you put him away, then that kind of puts me in a better position for myself instead of fighting somebody that no one is looking at him. I don’t mind taking tough fights. I prepare really well for this fight, and I feel great, and I think it’s going to be a good night.”

Cirkunov made the move to Las Vegas to train at Xtreme Couture just over a year ago, and already he feels like the move has paid dividends.

“I have a lot of great training partners, good coaches,” Cirkunov said. “Vegas is a good environment for a fighter to be in because you always have local tough guys, and you have international guys that always visit in Las Vegas, come in and train so you see the skills they bring, so it’s nice. I was able to get training with high-level guys from many different organizations.

“I want to show all you guys what I’ve been working on and that I belong here and in the top 15.”

In his last outing, Cirkunov was put away by Johnny Walker at UFC 235 in under a minute, in a fight in which he wasn’t even able to get started. He has already put the loss behind him, as he hopes to showcase the work he’s been putting in come fight night.

“You can always try to look for something or make an excuse, but I just came back, started training, sparring, and I know how well I do in sparring, and I just have to basically show it under the bright lights,” Cirkunov said. “That’s why I’m here, and this Saturday that’s what I’m planning on doing.”

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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