The UFC returns to PPV action this Saturday as Khamzat Chimaev takes on veteran Nate Diaz in a blockbuster Welterweight bout at UFC 279. On the prelims, Russian Middleweight Denis Tiuliulin returns to action as well, when he takes on Jamie Pickett. I had the pleasure of speaking to Tiuliulin ahead of his fight and here were his responses.
Denis Tiuliulin (10-6 overall, 0-1 in the UFC) will be looking for his first UFC win when he returns to action on Saturday. After losing on short notice against Aliaskhab Khizriev in his debut, Tiuliulin will benefit from having a full camp this time around. A powerful striker, Tiuliun has won eight of his ten wins by KO, and will look to do the same this weekend.
Jamie Pickett (13-7 overall, 2-3 in the UFC) is looking to get back on track against Tiuliulin, coming off a loss to Kyle Daukaus in February. After dropping his first two UFC bouts, Pickett earned a pair of wins, defeating Laureano Staropoli and Joseph Holmes. Also a striker, Pickett does his most damage from the clinch and will utilize his 80 inch reach against Tiuliulin.
Interview with Denis Tiuliulin
Danny Podolsky: How did this fight with Jamie Pickett come together and how has training been going?
Denis Tiuliulin: Jamie Pickett was the name they gave me so I had no hesitation and took the fight. Training has been going well and we’re very focused coming into this fight.
Podolsky: Have you gotten to watch any of Pickett’s previous fights and is that a big part of how you train?
Tiuliulin: Yes, as part of our routine, my team and I always analyze our opponent.
Podolsky: After making your debut on short notice, how much will it help you to have a full camp this time around?
Tiuliulin: I had two weeks notice on the first fight and this time I have five weeks. Because I was injured, my training got delayed, but I still have been able to train for five weeks for this fight. Five weeks is enough for me to get ready.
Podolsky: You’re an underdog for this fight, does that motivate you at all?
Tiuliulin: I don’t care about betting lines. I’m going to be the better fighter and I get to show that in the Octagon on fight day.
Podolsky: Are you excited to be fighting this time on a PPV card in a larger arena in Las Vegas?
Tiuliulin: Yes! Getting to fight in front of the large crowds motivates me to put on a great performance.
Podolsky: What gives you the advantage in this fight against Pickett?
Tiuliulin: I will have a striking advantage against Pickett and this fight is win or die for me!
Podolsky: What are your goals going forward and how active would you like to be for the rest of 2022?Tiuliulin: My current target is Jamie Pickett, then I would like to have another fight by the end of 2022.
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