Artem Frolov can check one accomplishment off his goals.
Frolov, the reigning M-1 Challenge middleweight champion, will replace Omari Ashkedov and take on C.B. Dollaway this coming Saturday at UFC Fight Night 136. The event takes place from Moscow, Russia and the Olympic Stadium.
Putting the contract together was a quick rush through for Frolov and his team, as he was expecting to defend his belt later this year.
“My manager has been working on signing me with the UFC for a while, but until the last few days, we had no solid agreement,” he said. “A few days ago, they finally offered me a contract and asked to step in to replace an injured fighter at UFC Moscow.
“I thought it over and decided it was a great opportunity to join the UFC, which I did not want to miss. I would not say this contract was a surprise for me, people have been working on it, so I was ready.”
The 26-year-old Frolov is a perfect 11-0 in his career with eight wins under the M-1 banner. He won the belt at M-1 Challenge 84 with a decision victory over Caio Magalhaes and defended it successfully in June when Joe Riggs was injured during the second round.
“Dream big, set goals, achieve them”
“I’m not going to demand huge fights with the top opponents in the UFC. I’ll take my time and be ready to fight any opponent they’ll give me,” Frolov said. “I need time to get used to new conditions, tune up my preparation, and put in order the whole system and then I will be ready for any challenges.
“Everything is in our hands; nothing is impossible. If someone wants something badly, sets a goal and works hard to achieve it, he or she will succeed. I’m just a regular guy who had a dream to fight in the UFC and I made it. Dream big, set goals and achieve them!”
Frolov understands that he’ll be testing his skills against his best foe to date in Dollaway, who has amassed an overall mark of 17-8 while mostly fighting for the UFC.
“I’m excited to sign with the best promotion in the world, but I know that my debut fight won’t be easy, I’m stepping in on a short notice just two weeks before the show,” he said. “I was going to defend my belt in M-1 Global in a couple months, so now I need to cut weight fast. The most difficult thing is not just to cut weight, but afterwards to recover well. In the UFC, IVs are banned and you have to be extremely careful with supplements you take to recover.
“I’ve seen a couple of C.B. Dollaway’s UFC fights, but I have never considered him as my opponent, so did not pay too much attention to him. There are many good fighters in the UFC, so I can’t say that I know a lot about my opponent. We don’t have not enough time to concentrate on him, so we’ll concentrate on me.”
In the main event of UFC Fight Night 136 will be a heavyweight battle between Mark Hunt and Aleksei Oleinik live on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC Fight Night 136 Fight Card
MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass/2 p.m. ET)
Heavyweight: Mark Hunt vs. Aleksei Oleinik
Light Heavyweight: Nikita Krylov vs. Jan Blachowicz
Heavyweight: Andrei Arlovski vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
Welterweight: Thiago Alves vs. Alexey Kunchenko
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/10:30 a.m. ET)
Middleweight: Artem Frolov vs. CB Dollaway
Bantamweight: Petr Yan vs. Jin Soo Son
Lightweight: Rustam Khabilov vs. Kajan Johnson
Lightweight: Desmond Green vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Light Heavyweight: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Marcin Prachino
Middleweight: Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Yandiev
Bantamweight: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Terrion Ware