During a recent interview with Sportskeeda MMA, UFC women's flyweight Mariya Agapova gave eye-opening insight into her struggles with injury, her urgent need for surgery, and her work as a bouncer to make ends meet.
'Demonslayer' has only been with the promotion for four fights, but has already made a splash in the octagon. Her first outing saw her snatch up a well-worked, rear-naked choke on Hannah Cifers. She currently holds a 2-2 record with the company, with each fight ending by way of finish.
In an exclusive sit-down with Sportskeeda MMA, Mariya Agapova admitted that she's going through a rough patch in her life and is forced to fight while carrying a serious injury in order to pay for much-needed surgery:
"I still need surgery. So after my fight, I will do the surgery, but my life situation is very bad right now, that's why I can't go to surgery before this fight. I work like [as a] bouncer right now at the club and no one gives a sh*t about me honestly. After I get hurt and my sponsor didn't want to sign with me, and I just get bouncer work and [I'm] working with [an] injury. I gotta go fight with [this] injury and I believe in myself, I believe [I will] win still with this injury."
The Kazakh will compete in her fifth fight inside the octagon against Gillian Robertson on Saturday. The clash will be featured on the prelims and the event will be headlined by Cory Sandhagen vs. Song Yadong.
In her short time with the UFC, Agapova's grappling prowess has earned her two submission victories, both of which were awarded Performance of the Night bonuses.
Before joining the biggest MMA promotion in the world, the 25-year-old competed for Invicta and Brave. Alongside the multiple organizations she has worked for in the sport, the flyweight even managed to make an appearance on Dana White's Contender Series, in a losing effort against Tracy Cortez.
Check out Mariya Agapova's full interview with Sportskeeda MMA here:
How does Mariya Agapova match up against Gillian Robertson?
Although she is coming into this fight with a serious injury as mentioned previously, Mariya Agapova still has high-level grappling and is able to finish fights with strikes or submission as she's proven throughout her career.
However, the young prospect may face some problems when she meets Gillian Robertson in the center of the octagon on September 17.
The UFC veteran is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Din Thomas, snatching up seven submission victories in her 10-7 record within the sport. Both women will be looking to outwork their opponent and find a finish in a clash that has the potential to be a barnburner.