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Despite bonus-winning KO win, Siyar Bahadurzada says he hid pre-fight problems from coaches

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If Siyar Bahadurzada’s coaches knew what he was dealing with in the lead-up to Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 128 event, he said he probably wouldn’t have been allowed to fight.

But it’s probably a good thing he did. In an FS1-televised preliminary-card bout at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., Bahadurzada (24-6-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) scored a second-round knockout win over welterweight Luan Chagas (15-3-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC).

It marked Bahadurzada’s third straight victory and earned him a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus, but it nearly didn’t happen.

“I had difficulties coming into the fight,” the 34-year-old Afghan fighter told MMAjunkie after the bout. “I couldn’t train well for three straight weeks, but I hid it from my coaches. They wouldn’t have let me fight if they knew I was in such big trouble.

“My weight – I passed out in the sauna cutting weight. My body kind of refused to drop weight three weeks, four weeks out. But I overcame the obstacles, and I overcame the weight cut. I conquered myself, and overcoming my opponent was easier.”

Bahadurzada said he isn’t sure what happened to his body – just that he had never felt it before. He said his diet may have been partly to blame, though with his victory secured, he can now explore a bit deeper.

Regardless, Bahadurzada left no doubts about the finish; he stunned Chagas with a stiff kick to the body and then dropped him with an uppercut as he fell to the mat.

Now, assuming his health issues are nothing serious, Bahadurzada is aiming for a more frequent fight schedule. He’s learned to be more “efficient” with training to avoid injuries (with help from Alistair Overeem, who implemented a similar philosophy to extend his career). Now, it’s time to focus on one of the UFC’s deepest weight classes.

“Obviously, I want to conquer this division,” he said. “I may not have their skill. Everybody is very skilled. This is the killers’ division. But they will never outmatch me in will. I have, by far, the biggest will in this division. And when it comes to will, I will beat them all. I will break them all.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.



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