Phoenix, AZ — After 2 years connected the sidelines, Bulgarian heavyweight Blagoy Ivanov returned to enactment astatine UFC 274 connected Saturday, and got the occupation done.
Showing small successful the mode of ringing rust, Ivanov went toe-to-toe with hard-hitting Brazilian Marcos Rogerio de Lima, who was coming successful disconnected a decorativeness of “Big” Ben Rothwell. Despite eating immoderate earnestly dense punches, Ivanov’s chin proved up to the task.
“It’s a bully question, yeah,” Ivanov said erstwhile asked backstage whether helium had the toughest chin successful MMA. It’s an adjacent much absorbing question erstwhile you see Ivanov has gone the region with Rothwell, Derrick Lewis, Junior Dos Santos, and different dense hitters. “I deliberation they person a fewer much heavyweights that person ne'er been down, similar Francis [Ngannou]. But yeah, my chin is good.”
It was, and truthful was Ivanov, who had Lima wounded astatine times successful the fight. He improved his grounds to 19-4, 1NC, and told media outlets including Cageside Press that helium felt bully pursuing the bout.
“I consciousness good. It was a pugnacious fight. I was [out] similar 2 years [on a] layoff, it’s a bully comeback. Rogerio, he’s a pugnacious guy,” said Ivanov. As to wherefore he’d been laid up truthful long, “I got immoderate injuries I had to fix,” helium stated. “This is why. Right present I’m connected the close track, and I person to conscionable support going.”
That said, Ivanov does privation a spot of clip disconnected aft his latest win, which snapped a two-fight skid. “I privation to bash immoderate vacationing close now. I started preparing for this combat similar December, truthful I request a small break. In 3 months, I deliberation I’m going to beryllium good.”
Watch the afloat UFC 274 post-fight property scrum with Blagoy Ivanov above. More sum from the lawsuit tin beryllium recovered below.