One-on-one with Rubenilton Pereira ahead of his fight at M-1 Challenge 97 lightweight title fight

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia– Brazilian mixed-martial-arts veteran Rubenilton Pereira faces undefeated Russian rising star Roman Bogatov (6-0-0), September 29, for the vacant M-1 Challenge 97 lightweight title, headlining M-1 Challenge: Tatfight in Kazam, Russia.

M-1 Challenge 97 will be live-streamed from Russia in high definition on www.M1Global.TV. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets. M-1 Challenge 97 will also be is available on www.FITE.TV (preliminary card is free, $7.99 for the main card).

The M-1 Challenge lightweight crown is vacant because the last champion, Damir Ismagulov, recently relinquished his title to sign a UFC contract.

Pereira (20-5-0, M-1: 4-2-0) has won his last four fights, including a technical knockout in his last action, also at M-1 Challenge 94 last June, when Oktom Baktybek ws unable to continue to fight after the opening round. Pereira’s two M-1 Global losses have been to a pair of M-1 Challenge champions, Ismagulov and Alexander Butenko, both by decision.

Pereira recently entered “The Rage” to answer a few questions of interest:

How do you feel about this title shot and not getting a rematch against?

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to fight for the title. I have been working hard to receive my title shot and, of course, I was hoping to have a rematch with the champ, Damir Ismagulov. I was surprised when they told me Ismagulov left the belt vacant to sign with the UFC. I’m happy for him. He is a great fighter and I know he can become the UFC champion, too”.

How do you feel about fighting in M-1 Global?

“I enjoy fighting in M-1 Global and I’d like to stay here for a long time. They’ve treated me really good. Now, I’m on a four-fight winning streak, but I was not that successful when I first joined the promotion. After two losses in a row I thought they were going to send me home, but they gave me another chance and I seized it.

How do you effectively drop nearly 50 pounds from your walk-around weight to fight as a lightweight?

“I have no special secret. I just train hard, three times a day, Sunday to Sunday. Usually, I weigh around 92 kg (203 lbs), but I never miss weight and always make 70 kg (154 lbs) for the weigh-ins. Some think this is a huge advantage for me in the fight but, trust me, I suffer much more than anybody to make weight.”

What do you know about your next opponent, Roman Bogatov?

“Roman Bogatov is a tough opponent. Maybe he has better wrestling and takedowns, but I’m a much better grappler. I’m self-confident and know that I can tap him out. If he takes me down, that’s better for me. I had a great camp and I’m ready for five rounds, but one of us will fall before round three.”