Why did you decide to pull at Arnold? Was this tournament planned in advance?
- This Arnold Classic for me was not planned, because I wanted to rest more and let the body recover completely. But the whole story clung me, haters wrote a lot of superfluous things. When my coach invited me to go to Arnold Classic, it was about two months before the tournament, I agreed and I made the task of recovering as quickly as possible. I started a lot of work; thanks to the integrated approach - the use of massage, physiotherapy, sports nutrition and competent training, it was possible to recover by 80-90%, but the trauma still has its effect – it aches. I agreed to go to Arnold Classic for the reason that I knew that Michael Todd and Dave Chaffee would come there. For me, the opportunity to pull with Dave again is fundamental, so I went there.
You did not look as big as at the Zloty Tur. Have you changed your workouts?
- I revised all the training process completely, it was compressed and completely different from my preparation for Vendetta with Dave. Then the main direction of the training was to improve the indicators of physical strength and muscle mass, and now the main goal is the restoration and strengthening of weaknesses, I do not chase for weight now.
Tell us about the fight, evaluate your the results of the team. Are you satisfied?
- The struggle went well, it was over, some of the nuances did not work, but there were reasons for that. I'm happy with our team, all the guys performed well, all the fellows.
Champions were Vali Faradzhov and Ekaterina Lyakhova and I, prize-winners - Alexander Balashov and Midalieva Elvira.
Tell about your rivals, and especially about the fight with Michael. Was it easier this time?
- The rivals came good, everyone was ready to fight. We flew together on a plane with Mirtaleh Aslanov, when I saw him, I was a little shocked, he was very massive and he went exactly for the victory. We talked, and Mirtaleh said that he was going for the victory over Michael Todd. Michael, in turn, said that he would not give this Arnold to anyone. Also there was Scot Mendelson, with whom I met in the first round. He is very respected man and a good-natured person. He said that he would surprise many participants. That is, the rivals were good, no one expected a simple fight. At the end of the training, I worked out the fight and deliberately prepared for the fight with Michael, I reconsidered our struggle with him and knew what I need to improve. In the end, I managed to prepare and cope with Michael's technique.
What are your plans? Where will we see you?
- I am still in the recovery phase from injury, now I have an off-season. I continue to train but where I will pull next I have not decided yet. Maybe there will be some suggestions, I do not know yet.
I want to thank my coach for the help, my relatives and friends, they always help me. Last year was not very successful for me, but my relatives always supported me. I also thank the fans for their support in difficult times, for words of support and for additional motivation.