clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Misha Cirkunov wants to make a name for himself in UFC — at the expense of Shogun Rua

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

After Dana White revealed that Light Heavyweight contender Misha Cirkunov “flaked” on contract negotiations — before declaring they were no longer in business together — the fearsome striker went and re-signed with UFC just a few weeks later.

According to Misha, the small hiccup wasn’t a big deal, saying he never “flaked” on anything, but simply wanted a bit more money and took longer to get back to White than the promotion president would’ve liked.

With all that behind them, Misha — who credits new UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard for helping close the deal — was booked to face Volkan Oezdemir on May 28, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 109 in Stockholm, Sweden. While the fight will prove to be a stiff test for the Latvian slugger, Misha has another opponent he wants to face in an attempt to increase his popularity in the form of Mauricio Rua.

He explained his reasoning during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour.

“I’m sure in the future we can work something out. For me, personally, I would love to fight somebody like that. I want to rub my name against a legend, a true pioneer, a true Hall of Fame fighter, PRIDE champion, UFC champion. I would love to fight him. A lot of people know who he is and a lot of people would tune in to see him fight. I would love to fight him so that all of those people would get to know who Misha Cirkunov is, as well. I think I earned it, I’ve been fighting for a long time, but we will see what happens.”

That said, Cirkunov isn’t overlooking Volkan, who he dubbed a young and “tough” fighter that has some veterans thinking twice about signing on the dotted line to face him.

“Shogun,” meanwhile, scored his third straight win this past weekend (Sat., March 18, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 106 in Fortaleza, Brazil, finishing Gian Villante with a vintage knockout (see it here).

While the “new” Rua looks rejuvenated and on a roll, would it be wise for the former 205-pound champion to face a “gangster” like Misha?

Time will tell.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania