Undefeated Bulgarian light heavyweight Stanislav Nedkov (11-0) is scheduled to make his UFC debut against heavy-handed Brazilian Luiz Arthuro Cane Jr. (11-3, 1 NC) on Aug. 27 at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Nedkov is keeping his hopes high the fight is going to actually take place. At 29-years-old, Nedkov has learned a lot about patience over the last year.
You see, Nedkov actually signed with the UFC in June 2010. He was originally scheduled to make his Octagon debut against Rodney Wallace at UFC 117 in August of last year, but Nedkov ended up having to withdraw from the fight due to injury.
After taking some time to recover, Nedkov signed on to fight former WEC light heavyweight champ Steve Cantwell at UFC 120 on October 2010, which was about two months later than his originally scheduled debut against Wallace.
This time though, it appeared the fight was going to happen; that was until just 48 hours before fight time when Cantwell suffered a knee injury while training and was forced to pull out. Without time to find a suitable opponent for Nedkov, he was removed from the card altogether.
This brings us to Nedkov’s third scheduled UFC debut, which is against Cane. The bout will take place in Cane’s home country of Brazil, and if the fight actually happens this time, it will be 14 months from the time Nedkov signed with the UFC until his first fight inside the Octagon.
To put it bluntly, that has to be damn frustrating.
Nedkov was kind enough to talk to us about what this last year has been like for him, what he thinks about Cane as an opponent and how they match-up. Nedkov also filled us in on his sports background, what the MMA scene is like in Bulgaria and future plans. Meet Mr. Stanislav Nedkov.
Editor’s Note: Because Stanislav does not speak English he preferred to do the interview via email. There is a bit of a language barrier and much of the interview is in broken English, but for the most part he is able to get his point across. None of his answers have been edited.
PRO MMA NOW: Thank you for talking with us today Stanislav. Now you actually signed with the UFC almost a year ago but you have had at least two fights I know about fall through. How frustrating has this last year been and can you talk a little bit about what you have been doing during this time, your injury and what it was like to keep having your fights get cancelled?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: Really annoying me was when I had to postpone my debut at UFC twice, but I told myself that life continues to train and keep getting better because there will ever manage to make my debut at UFC. I wanted to keep getting better because the UFC fans deserve to watch the best fights and the best fighters.
PRO MMA NOW: What are your thoughts on Luiz Cane and how do you see yourself matching up with him?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: Luis Cane is a good fighter with good statistics in his career until now, but never was it so hard as when he fight with me.
PRO MMA NOW: Cane is from Brazil. How do you feel about fighting him at home in Brazil — is that at all intimidating for you?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: I’m not troubled that our battle will be in Brazil. In the cage are only me and him and nothing else matters. So I will fight that will make Brazilian fans to start supporting me during the match.
PRO MMA NOW: Cane is obviously a hard puncher and is known for his knockout power. Are you confident enough in your striking and boxing to stand and trade with him or would you prefer to put Cane on the ground?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: We are both diverse and complex characters and will get quite an interesting battle. I feel confident enough in both the stand and on the ground and for me no matter where we went paint.
PRO MMA NOW: Have you watched many of Cane’s fights and where do you think he ranks among the UFC light heavyweights?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: I do not make the charts in the UFC or define what with whom to fight, you have people for that. Cane is a very talented fighters in the UFC light heavyweight.
PRO MMA NOW: What is your sports background and how did you get involved with MMA?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: I’m a wrestler, BJJ black belt and seven years practicing kickboxing and I feel equally well in all positions. I do not worry about where we went paint.
PRO MMA NOW: How popular is MMA in Bulgaria — do they have many MMA fights and are there plenty of good people and places to train with?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: MMA is very popular in Bulgaria. Are organized every month at least one large event. The halls are always packed. There are good coaches, so Bulgarian fighters quickly develop.
PRO MMA NOW: Would you like to continue training in Bulgaria or do you hope to one day do your training in the U.S. or somewhere else?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: I have many good coaches, not only for Bulgarians and now I’m happy with what we achieve together. in the future we will see. We often go to other clubs in the world and share experiences.
PRO MMA NOW: Who are the fighters that inspired you and that you looked up to — who do you like to watch fight?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: I watch all the fights of UFC and I like them all because there are collected the best fighters in the world and everyone can learn something.
PRO MMA NOW: Is there any UFC heavyweight in particular that you would like to fight after Cane?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: I am a worker in the UFC and tell me that Joe Silva and Dana White it will fight.
PRO MMA NOW: What is your ultimate goal in MMA, what do you hope to achieve in your career?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: I strongly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and I am fully committed to their faith in Him. I know that God will do the best for me and He will lead me forward.
PRO MMA NOW: Thank you so much Stanislav. I wish you the best of luck in the fight and also wish you luck that the fight actually happens this time! Is there anyone you want to thank or send a shout out to?
STANISLAV NEDKOV: I want to thank God, my sponsors, my team and all fans of MMA congratulate the great Christian holiday Easter.