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Mariya Agapova, March 2022 (Photo by Harrison Green/Zuffa LLC)
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Pieces Fall Into Place For Mariya Agapova

American Top Team Flyweight Has A Score To Settle With Maryna Moroz At UFC 272

The pieces have all fallen into place for Mariya Agapova. She has found her team, her real friends and, most importantly, she has found her personality again.

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“When everything is going good in your life, you can’t really see who can help you in a hard moment, but you can see who your friend is if you have hard moments. If they’re with you and they support you, they don’t let you down,” Agapova told UFC.com ahead of her bout at UFC 272.

The path to finding herself again wasn’t easy after she dealt with the stress of losing a friend and a teammate. That person is Maryna Moroz, who she will stand across from inside the Octagon on Saturday night.

 

Mariya Agapova Rear Naked Chokes Mazo | UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Rodriguez
Mariya Agapova Rear Naked Chokes Mazo | UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Rodriguez
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“Last year, because of stress, I was in the hospital twice,” Agapova said. “After I got out of the hospital the second time, she (Moroz) did this bad interview about me to make me look bad. She was also my neighbor. She was seeing that I was doing bad, and she did the interview to probably ruin my career or something. She thinks I’m already bad. After I fought Shana Dobson, after the surgery, I was going through a lot of problems with my friend, and she probably was thinking that because of all of this I will be done as a fighter.”

Four months after Agapova was in the hospital, she submitted Sabina Mazo and won a Performance of the Night bonus. She wants to make it clear that she is here to stay and nothing that anyone says is going to stop her.

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So this fight needed to happen.

“After she did this interview, I was just thinking that I can’t let it happen like this,” Agapova said. “I have to do something about it. I have to fight her because you can’t talk s*** behind my back after I come back from the hospital a week later, because after this I want to kick your ass.”

Mariya Agapova of Kazakhstan celebrates her submission victory over Sabina Mazo of Colombia in their women's flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Mariya Agapova of Kazakhstan celebrates her submission victory over Sabina Mazo of Colombia in their women's flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Agapova has been training at American Top Team Sunrise, where she has been focusing on improving her wrestling skills to face Moroz, who has five wins by submission. She also came out to Las Vegas three weeks before the fight, where she has been training at Syndicate MMA.

Coming out to Las Vegas early is something that Agapova believes will work in her favor.

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“In Florida, it’s ocean, very warm weather, and in Vegas, it’s dry, mountains, not enough oxygen and air, elevation,” Agapova said. “I think you have to adjust to this, and I think she’ll come here Tuesday and fight on Saturday; that’s only four days to adjust to the weather and I don’t think that’s much.”

The flyweight knows that Moroz will try to take her to the ground in order to secure an armbar submission, which is her specialty. But Agapova is also focused on the striking game.

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“She’ll try to drive me crazy so I can punch her,” Agapova said. “When you are trying hard to punch a person, you only waste all your power and get tired, so I think that’s what she wants. She will try to get into my head and drive me crazy and make me angry to want to punch her, but I will try to stay calm, steady, peaceful, and just do my job.”

Agapova has learned a lot about herself over the past couple years and she has continued to show why she is a threat in the flyweight division. She believes that she went through a hard test in life and came out even stronger with people that support her and are her true friends.

“There are a lot of people who are still helping me and who had been with me, and they never left me,” Agapova said. “Even when I don’t have money anymore, even when people think I’m a drug addict or a bad person, they were still with me and still helping me and I’m grateful for all my friends.”

This weekend’s matchup is just one more step toward Agapova’s goal.

“Hopefully I will be champion. Step by step, I will fight with Valentina (Shevchenko) one day, hopefully. That is my goal, and I will do my best to do this.”

UFC 272: Covington vs Masvidal took place on Saturday, March 5, 2022, live from a sold out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. See the Final ResultsOfficial Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.