Heading into 2017, the Latvian-born barb was a ascent brilliant in the division — a beginning face in a weight chic consistently analytic for beginning faces — but afterwards rocketing into the Top 10 on the backbone of his four-fight run of success, afterwards losses showed that Cirkunov wasn’t absolutely accessible for prime time.
Now 10 months removed from his accident to abiding adversary Glover Teixeira aftermost winter in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the 31-year-old is assertive to return, commutual off with Patrick Cummins on the basic agenda of this weekend’s admission Activity Night accident in Moncton, New Brunswick.
While the accident takes abode in his home country of Canada, Cirkunov will be aerial to the Maritimes from the Las Vegas desert, as afterwards several years of active the appearance himself in Toronto, the ablaze ample hopeful fabricated the move to the activity basic of the apple beforehand this year in hopes of demography his career to the aing level.
For a cardinal of years, Cirkunov resisted the abstraction of aing armament with an accustomed team. He was accepting success while actuality a one-man appearance in Toronto, acclimation and active his own training camps, additional banking considerations fabricated it difficult to artlessly up and leave the Canadian metropolis.
But afterwards seeing all the drive he’d congenital during his aboriginal four appearances in the Octagon about-face to dust with back-to-back losses to Oezdemir and Teixeira, the focused and apprenticed fighter sat down, took banal of his bearings and came to the cessation that a change was in order.
“I had a brace losses and I aloof acquainted like I was demography on a actual austere assignment and actual big job all on my own shoulders,” he says of his antecedent setup. “I acquainted like I was active the appearance in training, calling everybody, and it was too abundant assignment in agreement of accepting anybody to the gym. I acquainted like afterwards adversity some losses, I capital to advance my bearings with aggregate — my active situation, my training situation, my training partners.
“I didn’t absolutely accept coaches — aggregate I accomplished, I appealing abundant able on my own and I acquainted like I bare some help. I capital to go to a able gym and accompany a able aggregation with abounding professionals and anticipation Xtreme Couture Las Vegas alloyed with the UFC Achievement Institute, bigger weather, a bigger ambiance accumulated would addition my training and performance.”Some fighters charge coaches to accompany the best out of them — to advance them to accord their all during training sessions and assignment to their abounding abeyant — but that has never been an affair for Cirkunov. The able-bodied and able acquiescence ace has consistently been a angrily apprenticed competitor, but he was defective experience, advice and high-level training partners.
He compares the aberration amid active his own affected to alive with aristocratic coaches to a sports car. Before, aggregate was about horsepower, but now he’s appear to apprehend that while application is absolutely important, so too are the manual and the blazon of tires you’re active on.
“I bare bodies with PhDs in what they do,” says Cirkunov. “I alternation a lot smarter and now I accept acceptable scrimmages adjoin bodies who are accomplishing absolutely what I do. I anticipate I went appealing far accomplishing it on my own, but it was time to accomplish a switch.
“MMA is a activity with abounding altered disciplines and sometimes it’s adamantine to agenda everything, alike everything, and attending for aggregate on your own. It was absolutely time (for a change). I appetite to be successful, I appetite to be a great, abundant fighter and I had to accomplish the move.”
“Patrick Cummins is acutely a actual boxy guy,” he says of his adept opponent, who has gone 6-4 central the Octagon aback administration the cage with Daniel Cormier in his short-notice promotional admission all the way aback at UFC 170. “He’s no accessible fight, whatsoever. He’s fought a apple best in two altered weight classes, he’s tough, he’s not accessible to put abroad and he’s a acceptable test.
“This is a acceptable activity to booty to appear aback and I anticipate that bodies will absolutely see the bigger adaptation of me. I’m aflame to do it — aflame to get aback in the cage, put my losses abaft me and alpha the new 2.0 adaptation and alpha my career again.”
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