Prospect Watch: Artem Frolov – M-1 Challenge MW Champ Discusses Next Title Defense, Having to Bow Out of UFC Debut
One of Russia's top fighters, Artem Frolov, was all set to make his UFC debut last month at the promotion's card in Moscow, until an injury forced the middleweight off the event. So, if MMA prospecting isn't your thing, you may be wondering who Frolov is?
One of Russia’s top fighters, Artem Frolov, was all set to make his UFC debut last month at the promotion’s card in Moscow, until an injury forced the middleweight off the event. So, if MMA prospecting isn’t your thing, you may be wondering who Frolov is?
Well, the 27 year-old Frolov is the M-1 Challenge middleweight champ, who has gone 11-0 to date in pro-MMA. The former, combat sambo, national champ holds wins over UFC vets like Joe Riggs, Luigi Fioravanti and Caio Magalhaes. He also holds a victory over another top, Russian prospect in Ayub Gimbatov, whose only loss is to Frolov.
As noted above, Frolov was tapped to fight CB Dollaway on short notice at UFC Moscow, but he had to drop out. In a recent press release from M-1 Global regarding Frolov’s next bout, he had this to say about withdrawing, and his upcoming, November 2nd bout with Bruno Silva. The latter is coming off a vicious, and impressive KO win over Russian star, and former Bellator champ, Alexander Shlemenko.
“Bruno Silva is a worthy title challenger, who made a big statement earlier this year,” Frolov said. “Unfortunately, I could not debut in the UFC because of an aggravated old injury, but now everything is fine, and the injury is healed. I’ve been preparing routinely, paying attention to all aspects of the fight and concentrating on my cardio ahead of a five-round bout.
“I don’t consider this fight as revenge for Alexander Shlemenko, I just want to fight under the Russian flag and prove that Russia is a top-country in the MMA world. Victory in this fight can become a launching pad for the winner, but you don’t win fights with words. We are going to fight and on November 2nd we’ll see everything in The Rage at M-1 Challenge 98 in Chelyabinsk!”
The 29 year-old Silva, meanwhile, had this to say about the M-1 Challenge champ:
“Artem Frolov is a strong fighter and great champion. I’m not used to watching my opponents’ previous fights much, but from the videos I have seen, I can say that he has good cardio and wrestling skills. I am ready to become the world champion, which was always a dream of mine and soon this dream can come true. I respect Frolov, but he has something what I need. I hope he is ready for a war because I’m going to take this belt from him. I am a fighter who is always looking for a knockout. Fifteen times I knocked my opponents out and at M-1 Challenge 98 I’m ready to brawl with Artem as much as it takes to become the champion.”
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So, it will be interesting to see if Frolov gets by Silva, and if he does, whether a move to the UFC comes next. M-1 Challenge 98 will be available on www.FITE.TV (preliminary card is free, $7.99 for the main card).