Russian MMA queen Avsaragova finds opponent willing to fight her

The unbeaten fighter has revealed when her next scrap will be

Unbeaten Russian MMA fighter Diana Avsaragova will go to the backyard of an American opponent who is nine years her senior in her next fight, ending a lengthy search for an adversary when she faces Ashley Deen at Bellator 276 in St Louis on March 12.

More than seven months after beating Gabriella Gulfin in her most recent outing for the promotion, Chechnya-based Avsaragova has revealed that she will face 32-year-old Deen in a third Bellator fight which will continue her run of showdowns in the US.

"There were certain difficulties with the selection of a rival," Avsaragova told Sovsport in a possible reflection of her four professional wins so far. 

"Surprisingly, many did not agree to fight, and Ashley Deen accepted the offer from Bellator.

"I am in good shape, I went through a long training camp with the [Grozny-based] Akhmat club.

"I want to go into battle as soon as possible. My opponent has serious experience; I take the preparation very seriously."

Deen has been out of the cage even longer than Avsaragova, last appearing when she lost to current UFC newcomer Jasmine Jasudavicius by decision in March 2021.

©  Bellator MMA / Lucas Noonan

Avsaragova was a 16-year-old when Deen first campaigned professionally at flyweight, although the Colorado-based brawler's longer record is far from flawless, losing six of her 11 professional fights including four defeats in her seven most recent bouts.

There had been rumors that Avsaragova would face Valerie Loureda – arguably Bellator's best-known fighter thanks to her Instagram following of almost 900,000 – in talk that was fueled by 'Pantera' providing a mock-up image of the pair standing next to each other two weeks ago.

©  Bellator MMA / Lucas Noonan

"Who would like to see this fight?" asked Avsaragova, posing a question to her own Instagram fanbase of more than 314,000 weeks after Loureda had announced that she expects to fight three times in 2022.

Avsaragova does not appear unduly concerned by the identity of any of her opponents.

"I'm a fighter in one of the best leagues in the world," she said in a post tagged to North Ossetia–Alania Republic. "Let's go. I'm ready to go. Give me a fight. I don't care who I break."

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