Following a year away from active competition, welterweight Kemran Lachinov was able to get in his first fight of 2020 with a unanimous decision victory over Kyle Crutchmer at Bellator 249 this past October.
While the fight didn’t quiet gone exactly as Lachinov would have wanted, he nonetheless had a solid performance and pick up his eighth win in a row.
“It was a great fight,” Lachinov told MMAWeekly.com. “I felt I did great. The only thing I know I could have finished the fight and not let the judges decide it. That was the only problem on the negative side.
“I stayed to the game plan that the coaches and team put together. I believe in their work, we followed it, and got the W.”
Having missed out on fighting for over a year due to cancellations cause by opponents not making weight and then due to the lockdown imposed by the first wave of the novel coronavirus, Lachinov was happy to be able to fight again without degradation in his game.
“I didn’t feel any rust,” said Lachinov. “It was a little weird fighting without any fans. I was more like a practice, training, type of condition.
“I had a couple of fights scheduled that got cancelled (over the past year), but I was kind of ready. I was always kind of training to be on the move for a short-notice fight. I didn’t have much rust; it was just weird fighting without fans.”
On Thursday in Uncasville, Conn., Lachinov (10-2) will look to continue his winning streak when he faces Shamil Nikaev (9-0) in a Bellator 254 welterweight preliminary bout.
“It’s a great match-up that should be a win over the fans, the viewers,” Lachinov said. “(Nikaev) has a zero on his record that has to go. I’m just keeping my eye to make his record 9-1.
“For me to win the fight I just need to get in the cage and put my whole experience in the cage and fight my heart out.”
For Lachinov the right here, right now, is more important than anything else. He’ll start looking towards 2021 when the year comes, but until then he’s focused on his bout with Nikaev and being the best fighter he can be.
“I’m just focusing right now on this fight,” said Lachinov. “I don’t jump ahead of time. That’s the whole purpose of fighting: improving every day, improving every fight.”