‘Khasikov is a strong guy’ – Gago Drago

Batu Khasikov is seeking to add yet another name on the list of kickboxing legends he has defeated, with Saturday’s bout against Gago Drago expected to provide an ultimate challenge for the Russian.

­You have to beat the best to be the best, and Batu Khasikov has been strictly following this simple creed.

He's arguably Russia's brightest kickboxing star at the moment, with victories over some of the sport's greats.

Albert Kraus and Mike Zambidis, both representing the sport's most prestigious stage – K-1, have both been defeated by Khasikov in Moscow over the last two years.

“I watched his bouts against Kraus and Zambidis,”
Artur Kyshenko, Ukrainian kickboxer, told RT. “Well; he's earned some fame as the only Russian to fight in K-1. But the point is he didn't fight in K-1. Why doesn't he prove his skills outside of Russia!? I'm sure; it would be much tougher for him.”

The words come from a man, who's already been there and done it all, with Kyshenko representing the cream of the crop in K-1.

“Here's what I suggest Batu and his team should do – let him have a few fights in Europe. Let him win there and show that he's not just a domestic champion,”
he added.

And Batukhan’s promoter, Kamil Gadzhiev, seems to agree with this statement.

“Making it to K-1 has always been Batu's ultimate goal. And he has stressed this fact many times,” he said. “The combat sports industry in Russia is on the rise now. We can afford bringing top stars here. The problem is that most European promoters can’t provide a worthy offer for a fighter of his caliber. But if Batu only gets an offer he deserves – anytime, anywhere – we're ready to accept all challenges.”   

And up next in Khasikov's way to the top is Gagik Arutunyan or Gago Drago – the intimidating moniker he's earned through his impressive 74 wins as a pro.

The 27-year-old will put his skills on show in Moscow this Saturday at the Fight Nights showdown.

“I'm training hard every day,”
Gago Drago said. “He's a strong guy, so I never liked to talk much before the fight, so… I'm going to see what happens in the fight.”

“Batu has worked on his offensive style with constant pressure for a long time,”
Gadzhiev stressed. “And it will be no different this time around. Gago Drago has always been good at trading punches. I think, that's where Khasikov should be extremely cautious.”

Whatever the outcome, Russian martial arts fans will benefit a lot, with Moscow becoming a magnet for the living legends of combat sports. Gago Drago has unveiled a new gym in Moscow, and both he and Artur Kyshenko are training there, while Batu Khasikov may soon face one of the greatest fighters in the business.

“It's a dream fight against Buakaw,” Khasikov’s promoter said. “And I believe, this dream is about to come true. We've had negotiations in Thailand, and reached a tentative agreement to hold this bout in Moscow this spring.”

Proving one's skills in a fight like this is something nobody could ever argue, but Gago Drago is first on the list for Batukhan.