East Tennessee’s Adam “Prime Time” Townsend (17-4) is headed to Rostov-On-Don, Russia where he will face hometown star Alexandr Shabliy (15-3) in the ACB 62 main event on June 17. Having knocked out his last three opponents in a row, Townsend is looking to take that momentum into enemy territory and add Shabliy to his list of victims. Pro MMA Now caught up with “Prime Time” before he heads off to Trump’s favorite country to get his thoughts on his opponent, find out why with such an impressive record we still haven’t seen him in the UFC and if it is still even the goal in today’s MMA landscape.
PRO MMA NOW: Hi Adam, thanks for talking with us. So you’re traveling to Russia to take on hometown guy Alexandr Shabliy at ACB 62 in a couple weeks. How did this fight come together for you and do you like the matchup?
[highlight]ADAM TOWNSEND: Yes I’m going to Russia to fight the hometown Russian guy which I’m no stranger to doing, going to someone else’s hometown and fighting their guy. I signed a three-fight deal. I’ve been talking with ACB for a while now and I got offered a another exclusive trunk contract with a promotion in Russia and ACB come back with a better counter offer and I decided to go with them. Cyrus Fees also had a hand in helping me with some of the negotiations and I appreciate him as help for that. He is also the ring announcer for ACB so it’s cool that he’ll be announcing the main event with me in another country because he was the announcer for my first ever professional fight.[/highlight]
[highlight]Yes I like the matchup I think that he is the best guy that I have fought. He has some really nasty left knees and seems to be very good at leg locks as well. He’s very tough and does not care to punch or get punched so in my opinion he is the best all-around fighter that I’ve ever faced I don’t think he’s great anywhere but he’s a lot like me and is really good everywhere.[/highlight]
PRO MMA NOW: Was there any hesitancy on fighting in Russia if it goes to the judges?
[highlight]ADAM TOWNSEND: That’s one thing that I’ve always been accustomed to you know, four of my losses have come by decision so I’m no stranger to that, but the good thing about ACB is they don’t have hometown judges. They fly judges in from the UK to make everything more fair for everyone but with that being said I think it would still be in my best interest to get that win by finish.[/highlight]
PRO MMA NOW: Will you talk with the Russians about Trump while you’re over there?
[highlight]ADAM TOWNSEND: I’m definitely not bringing up politics or religion or anything controversial whatsoever during my stay but if someone was to ask me any questions about it then I would definitely feel free to give my opinion and it would be super awesome if I was able to meet Putin. That’s unlikely but I have heard that he is a very big fight fan.[/highlight]
PRO MMA NOW: Last year you fought in China, now you’re in Russia, what’s next?
[highlight]ADAM TOWNSEND: Yeah China was a very fun experience and it just helps me you know in all aspects of my game and it’s done nothing but made me a better fighter because now that I’m traveling all over the world I slightly know what to expect and bring when I travel, just some essential things that I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t already done it. But hopefully I’ll get you know two or three more fights after this one this year with ACB and you know sign another contract with them or see what else is in store for me. That’s the goal is to fight at least three more times this year.[/highlight]
PRO MMA NOW: You’ve knocked out your last three opponents. Every win I keep thinking, okay finally now we’ll see “Prime Time” in the UFC. Just what the hell is going on?
[highlight]ADAM TOWNSEND: Yeah I’ve spoke with the UFC and basically they were like you done everything that you can do to get in but we’re just really not signing anyone at the moment. I feel like I’m in the prime of my career and I’m not waiting around for anyone. Money is the whole reason that I’m doing this and ACB gave me essentially the same contract that I would have got with a UFC contract so the money issue wasn’t really as much as a factor for me anymore. So that’s kind of what happened with UFC, it’s definitely still a dream of mine to be there but as I said I’m not waiting around on anyone.[/highlight]
PRO MMA NOW: Is UFC still the goal or has the landscape changed?
[highlight]ADAM TOWNSEND: My goal is to make money regardless of what organization it is in.[/highlight]
PRO MMA NOW: Last great book you read?
[highlight]ADAM TOWNSEND: I’ve only read two books in my entire life and one was James and the Giant Peach and the other book was “Got Fight” by Forrest Griffin, I read it about six years ago when I first started training. And on my trip to China I listened to this audiobook that was free about how they used inflatables and propaganda in order to trick the overhead surveillance biplanes in World War II.[/highlight]
PRO MMA NOW: Last movie you thoroughly enjoyed?
[highlight]ADAM TOWNSEND: There’s a lot of good movies that have came out recently but nothing will ever beat my favorite movie of “Dumb and Dumber”.[/highlight]
PRO MMA NOW: Any shout-outs or parting words for the “Prime Time” fans out there?
[highlight]ADAM TOWNSEND: Yes I would like to thank all my sponsors, fans and supporters. I appreciate everything you do for me and you can watch my fight on June 17th. It will air sometime between 2 and 5 p.m. Eastern Time and I really want to thank you guys for the interview.[/highlight]
Be sure to follow “Prime Time” on Twitter at @AdamTownsendMMA.