Misha Cirkunov feels better all-around after moving back up to light heavyweight after spending two fights at middleweight.
Making the 185-pound weight limit was a serious task for Cirkunov, one that required a lot of energy that he would rather spend focusing on preparing for a fight.
“I definitely feel a lot stronger, more energy, faster, all those attributes, once you add some weight,” he said. “I just feel better, and I'm not drained as much. I have more of a fresh energy to go each session, and I concentrate on getting better, rather than making the weight.”
The 35-year-old acknowledged that this camp was hard, but he is feeling good just one day out from his bout against Alonzo Menifield at UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs Araújo. The work is done, and he is looking forward to applying everything that he has learned inside the Octagon on Saturday night.
During this training camp, he has focused on every aspect of where the fight could go.
“I think we will fight a little bit of everything,” Cirkunov said. “I definitely see us striking, I see us grappling, I see us wrestling. I think we're going to test each other everywhere and see where who has more of a weakness and capitalize on that.”
Mentally, Cirkunov is feeling good. Physically, he feels that he can succeed anywhere in the fight and plans to have that same mindset on Saturday, which will lead to a successful night inside the Octagon.
Cirkunov is entering this weekend on a three-fight skid, after suffering losses to Ryan Spann, Krzysztof Jotko and Wellington Turman. Losing is never easy, but for Cirkunov it allowed him to fix things for the future.
“I move past those,” Cirkunov said. “I move forward. I know exactly what I did wrong, and I know exactly the reason why I did that and so I just kind of move on from there and I don't overthink things. I just try to make them better.”
Since his made his UFC debut back in 2015, Cirkunov has gone 6-6. Experiencing the ups and downs of the sport has allowed him to figure out where he can get better and grow as a fighter.
“It’s definitely it's a long journey, but you learn more when you lose,” Cirkunov said. “I had a couple losses in my last fights, so I feel like I actually progressed now more than before working on the weaknesses and just implementing and working on the strategies and game plans better.”
Cirkunov doesn’t have plans to look forward to what 2023 could bring and what goals he has for himself. He is solely looking at the task at hand and getting things back on track. Once he comes out victorious on Saturday night, he’ll be able to have a clearer picture of what he wants the next stage of his career to look like.
For now, there’s a simple plan for Cirkunov to get a win.
“As long as I implement everything, how I do it in training, everything should go really, really good for me and that's exactly what I'm trying to do,” Cirkunov said. “I'm just going to try to treat it like it's another day in training and just rougher, just harder, and that should do it.”
UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs Araujo took place live from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 15, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!