‘My Past Mistakes Are Fixed’ – Artem Belakh Excited To Prove Himself Against Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu
After suffering his first ONE defeat and dealing with multiple injuries in 2023, the Russian will be happy to put the year behind him and start afresh when he faces Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu in U.S. primetime on Friday, January 12.
Belakh will meet the surging Mongolian in a bantamweight MMA clash at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, and fueled by his recent experiences, he’s expecting to step inside the ring as an improved martial artist.
Rather than shy away from his TKO loss to “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il in June, the 27-year-old has used the lessons from defeat to propel him toward his next showcase.
Belakh told onefc.com:
“First of all, I take my loss with dignity. What happened is what had to happen. My past mistakes are fixed, and I’m happy to be back
“We are working on a new game plan. I am improving with every training session. I am surrounded by the best people, and I am thankful for the opportunity to prove myself against a top opponent. I am sure this card will be the brightest beginning of 2024 for ONE and MMA fans.
“I’m happy to get back to work and will give it 100 percent. If you want to see how a man enjoys his work, don’t miss this fight!”
Multiple injuries following the matchup with Kwon compounded Belakh’s woes, but they also gave him a new appreciation for being able to train and compete.
Now that he’s back to full health, the Krasnodar native has responded to the setback by going all-in on his dreams.
He’s moved into MMA full-time with a new team at Derzhava, and he believes this will help him take his career to the next level:
“I’ve had several surgeries – two on my left arm and hand, one on my nose. I got my health in order, and I’m ready to conquer the world of MMA and make more and more people fall in love with this sport by giving them good shows.
“Of course, I recognized my past mistakes and worked hard on fixing them. I’ve been making adjustments and changes to my training while going through the process of rehabilitation.
“I am fully focused on MMA now. I no longer work any other jobs. I think this is also a very important change in my approach and training in general because you need to be fully focused to go far.”
Belakh: ‘My Main Advantage Is My Versatility’
Artem Belakh will have to earn his way back to the winning track when he faces Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu at ONE Fight Night 18.
While the Russian is coming off a defeat, Enkh-Orgil is riding an impressive three-fight winning streak that has seen him finish two of those fights inside the distance.
Belakh is quite familiar with his upcoming foe, but he’s primarily focused on implementing his own game on January 12:
“I had seen [Enkh-Orgil’s] fights even before we signed the contract and thought he could be a potential opponent. Generally, I watch every fighter in my weight class.
“I don’t think about his strengths or weaknesses. I think about what I have and what I can offer to my opponent. These aspects are handled by my training team, and I trust them completely. We are simply working according to the plan.”
Given the importance of his next clash, Belakh has left no stone unturned as he looks to get back into the winner’s circle.
Above all, the 27-year-old thinks his well-rounded skill set will give him the edge against Enkh-Orgil, and he promises to push the pace until the Mongolian can no longer keep up.
Explaining his simple plan for the bantamweight battle, Belakh added:
“My main advantage is my versatility as a fighter, my meticulous approach to training, and also the great joy of being able to come back.
“I am preparing for a three-round fight where every minute will be more and more intense and impressive. And as soon as the opportunity for a finish arrives, I will definitely take it. I am confident in my victory and my work.”