Unlike Rustam, Evgeny had a great flight and adaptation. And during the struggle he checked himself for readiness for the second stage and looked for weak spots. Was it difficult for Prudnik to earn his victory?
Evgeny, what do you remember about Malaysia?
- Heat, moisture, cane juice - the only thing that saved, very cold air conditioners, from which we warmed in jackets, the sea - boiling water, I have never felt anything like that anywhere. Spicy food.
A month before the fight, you found out that your opponent is Rustam Babayev. Why did you gain so much weight? Or is it for later?
- I was preparing seriously and approached this issue responsibly. I decided to gain as much as I can, because I always held the weight, but here there was a chance to try myself at the maximum weight.
Was this weight too much for you? Did it affect the reaction rate and acidification?
- No, this weight was just quite adequate for me. It gave me the strength I needed, but the endurance remained. No acidification, no effect on the reaction, everything went only in a positive direction.
When did you realize that you could beat Rustam without problems?
- In the first round I hold his start, and that was enough for me. I realized that this is the most basic thing that I need to do in the first part, and I was preparing for the start. Then I realized that I would win. Of course, there was fear of being overweight, because many said that hands would go numb and endurance would go down. And this fear was present during the struggle: now I have kept it, and then the hand may begin to open. But it turned out to be unjustified. From the first round I felt that I could easily keep Rustam, that strength was on my side. Though I was afraid of endurance, I still tried not to fight quickly, but qualitatively, to enjoy the struggle. It seems to me that I could finish the rounds faster, but I tried different techniques, to check my weak points - but this is for further work.
Did you let him pull in his style?
- I did not allow Rustam to pull in his style, I did so that he was a little uncomfortable. And then, when he began to get tired, I gave the opportunity to fight as he wants.
Did you experiment with techniques?
- Yes, I tried to use different techniques, I tested myself - both endurance and different styles of pulling. I tried to make a fight bright, high-quality and colorful. I tried not to foul, so there were fewer stops. And stretched the fight itself.
You change your shirt for red. What does this mean to you?
- The yellow color of the T-shirt did not please me. The title was too loud - the four champions and the four contenders, and this “contender” oppressed me. But now I got a red T-shirt and proved that I can be in the top four. That was the first stage of the Top-8 for me.