Rustam Babaiev is a heavyweight thunderstorm, the most titled athlete of Ukraine, one of the lightest Top-8 athletes, but the only participant who gave a serious rebuff to Denis Tsyplenkov. ()
He won at various competitions of almost all participants of Top-8 tournament and no one has a question about his participation. By tradition, let us analyze the best and worst consequences of the draw for Rustam.
Rustam is in the group of champions, and, therefore, he will have to defend his place in the first round. In fact, any of the group of applicants is not an unsolvable task for Rustam, but whom does he want to be his opponent in the first round?
“I’ll say this about the opponent: I’m not looking for easy ways, although there can be no easy opponents in the Top-8. But it’s necessary to save my hands healthy. Heavy, protracted fights, which are popular with the public, may not particularly favorably affect the integrity of the hands and sports longevity. Since I am a professional and the strongest are preparing for me, I would like to get to a more comfortable opponent and, of course, defeat him. In this case, it is desirable to keep hands for further performance. I think Dmitry Trubin and Alex Kurdecha from this four will probably be more comfortable for me”.
We agree with Rustam in his evaluation of the opponents, since Alex Kurdecha is the least experienced participant in the tournament, and Dmitry seems to be really uncomfortable with a quick struggle, directed sideways with a twist or even rather hammering the hand into a twisted state, convenient for further fighting into the hook, with ideal angles, if he fails to finish off the opponent with the first attack. Consequently, the optimal draw for Rustam will be Alex in the first round, and in the second, as he says, will be Dmitry, because Dmitry is more likely to defeat Gennady Kvikvinia: “If I would win first round, I don’t want to get Denis or Levan in the second. But if in the second round they get to each other, then this combination will be easier for me and bad for them”.
As for the bad luck draw, Rustam replies: “The worst may be the option in the first round to get on an inconvenient opponent and not to have time to recover. And then again to get on an inconvenient opponent”. For the first round, the most inconvenient opponent for Rustam, perhaps, would be Tim Bresnan. The difference between them on the last Vendetta was very small, and there is a high probability that Tim will correct his technical problems and the outcome of the fight will change. And in the second round, Rustam is very likely to meet with Evgeniy Prudnik, who has been fighting with him on equal levels for years. At their last meeting, Evgeniy lost in the category, but in the next fight in the open class he overcame Rustam, and after a few months on the Zloty Tur, he showed an even better form by winning the open.
And we can only wait for the draw, because, as Rustam said: “This is a sport, and very often a lot depends on the draw”.