Emilio Urrutia On People Saying To Avoid Marat Gafurov: “It Made Me Sick To My Stomach”

Emilio Urrutia is a man on a mission like William Foster in the classic thriller Falling Down.

When he signed with ONE Championship in early 2017, he always had his eyes on Marat Gafurov since he was sitting at the top of the featherweight division.

The 31-year-old American made his promotional debut in Malaysia last summer against the always dangerous Edward Kelly. Even though he came in as a huge underdog, Urrutia was able to work every aspect of his game which led to a unanimous decision victory.

Unbeknownst to “The Honeybadger”, his future opponent, Gafurov, was about to step into the cage in the main event and have his incredible title reign put to a halt with one solid right hand by Martin Nguyen. With a new champion being crowned, his attention somewhat shifted but he always paid attention to what was happening amongst the contenders.

After that fateful night, Urrutia went back to training with his head down and his ear to the street.

Still needing to prove that he belongs in the upper-echelon of the weight class, he decided to take on Bruno Pucci five months later in the Philippines.

He went into the fight against Pucci with his confidence at an all-time high and an undeniable belief in his skills. This resulted in the most violent display of technique and power he has ever shown in a cage.

With two wins over top competition, Urrutia just wanted an opportunity that could propel him to a title shot as soon as possible.

That is where Marat Gafurov comes in. The former titleholder is looking to rebound from losing his belt and who better than a rising contender to face to get back into title contention.

John Hyon Ko spoke with Emilio Urrutia leading up to his clash with Marat Gafurov about belief being the missing piece in his arsenal, taking training to another level, wanting Gafurov because he is the toughest challenge, the unpredictability of fighting in a ring rather than a cage, and more.

“I worked too hard, for too long to be out here smoking bums. That ain’t cool. I don’t want to be out here padding my record like some bum. That’s more bum than being a bum!”

Emilio “The Honeybadger” Urrutia will take on former featherweight champion Marat “The Cobra” Gafurov at ONE: Heroes of Honor in Manila on April 20.

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