Jorge Santiago takes on Mamed Khalidov on Nov. 7 at Sengoku 11 in Tokyo, Japan.
Jorge Santiago takes on Mamed Khalidov on Nov. 7 at Sengoku 11 in Tokyo, Japan.

PROMMA.INFO received the following press release from KSW spokesperson Artur Przybysz on Wednesday, announcing the confirmed fight between Mamed Khalidov and Jorge Santiago for Sengoku 11 on Nov. 7. If you are not familiar with Khalidov or KSW, then read my KSW International MMA Spotlight article.

Artur Przybysz:

If anybody thinks that MMA manager job in this country (Poland) is easy, he is just wrong. Contracting a bout abroad for a Polish fighter is always a great success. Even when everything is signed, there are a lot factors which the ultimate success depends on. We’ve read a lot of harsh words about our work last weeks.

MMA fans on different sites and message boards even loaded us with accusations of not committing ourselves to booking our best fighters meaningful fights. Mamed Khalidov’s fans expressed this grudge the loudest.

They lamented that KSW Federation International Champion last fought in May, when he demolished Pride veteran Daniel Acacio. We decided to break the silence and reveal all information about our attempts of contracting fights abroad for our Champion.

Khalidov’s win filled us with optimism that the doors of major MMA organizations will be now open for him. So it was. Americans from Affliction were the first, who expressed the interest in signing KSW Team fighter, finalization of the deal was a matter of days.

The agreement was reached and we get to know the date and the opponent in Mamed’s next fight. Chechen native was set to face Antonio Rogerio Minotoro Nogueira. We were really happy for this opponent due to a fact that his name, mainly because of his brother, is well known in the MMA world.

Unfortunately we all know what happened next. The show was cancelled, Khalidov didn’t fight, Affliction decided to fold their MMA organizations and come back to UFC as a sponsor. These happenings didn’t discourage Mamed’s managers and they actively sought for a new partner among other major MMA promotions.

That’s when Japan, precisely Sengoku, appeared on the horizon. The ultimate goal of fighting in the Land of the Rising Sun meant another days of intensive managerial work. The talks lasted quite long and nothing signaled that they would be finalized soon and the success would be so stunning.

In the morning (October 13th), when I was still sleeping and dreaming about beautiful, scantly dressed Brazilian girls, a phone call woke me up.

–          Who’s this – I answered with my sleepy voice

–          Hi, I have a very important news for – I heard Martin Lewandowski’s voice

–          What happened? – I mumbled

–          Dude, we’re going to Japan. We signed a fight for Mamed in Sengoku – He yelled

–          Wow! how come? Did the Japanese promoters get in touch with you? – I asked

–          We have been in talks for the last few weeks and today I’ve just received a confirmation that Mamed is fighting Santiago – Lewandowski concluded.

When I vaguely heard the words: contract, Sengoku and Mamed, I jumped off my bad like it was on fire. Did I hear it right? Was it a dream? Nope. Everything is true, Mamed Khalidov will fight in Sengoku. His next bout will take place in Tokyo, November 7th.

The Japanese promoters know our fighter really well. They are putting their biggest asset Jorge Santiago, a Sengoku middleweight champion from Brazil, against Khalidov what shows how much they respect his skills.

Finally, Mamed received a chance of showcasing his abilities in one of the biggest organizations in the world. I’m excited for this bout against Santiago. How will Mamed’s body react to dropping to middleweight is my only doubt about it. He has to cut 6 kilograms to make the weight limit. I believe there won’t be any problems, though. – says Khalidov’s coach Szymon Bońkowski.

His coaching staff is very optimistic, what about the fighter himself?

–          What is your instant reaction after you signed with Sengoku? – I ask Mamed

–          Aaaaaaaaaaaa! – I hear

–          I’m extremely happy. I look forward to landing at the airport in Japan and entering the ring – He added.

–          I guess, you won’t need special motivation for hard training before this bout? – I asked

–          Each fight motivates me, especially abroad, when I can show my game to the wider audience – declares Chechen

–          What about you weight? – I ask directly

–          A week ago I weighed 90 kilograms, till today I dropped 4. I still have a lot of time, it won’t be a problem – he concludes.

Khalidov is always very professional with his preparations. You won’t be able to sense any nervousness in his voice, he’s calm as usual. He understands that he received a life-time possibility of showcasing his skills to the Japanese audience.

Although the one thing he doesn’t know, that this may be only the beginning of his career at the highest levels of MMA all over the world, because his managers are already in serious talks with other organizations.

Many people would ask about more details. However, for the answer whether it will be Dream, Bellator or possibly UFC we will have to wait.

-Artur Przybysz

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