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The Andrews Report – Ovchynnikova nervous but ready to hunt for Bellator 150’s Ruth

She is known as “The Hunter,” but Ukraine native and Bellator flyweight Lena Ovchynnikova (10-3-0) admits to being nervous before fights.

It’s a sign her trainer and interpreter Viktor Lazurko says, she’s prepared and ready for battle.

Ovchynnikova enters the Bellator cage February 26th as the favourite against Shamrock FC protege Rebecca Ruth (5-1-0).

Both fighters are making their debuts at Bellator 150: Galvao vs Dantas 2.

The 28-year-old, whose idol is legend Fedor Emelianenko, and Lazurko spoke with MMA Crossfire about the fight.

Ovchynnikova recently signed with Bellator ‘s flyweight division, impressed with the company’s additional fighting opportunities. “She can also fight in other organizations like the kickboxing and Muay Thai,” explained Lazurko. “It’s more chances to fight. She is a world champion in Muay Thai and kickboxing, so it’s a good opportunity for her.”

More fights means more paycheques and sponsorship opportunities but first, she has to focus on her opponent at hand.

Ruth, 37, has finished all five of her wins and her lone loss was a split-decision. “Rebecca is good fighter, she’s experienced and very strong,” Ovchynnikova said through her interpreter. “We ready for this fight, preparation doing good here in the US. She will show maximum skills to win this fight.”

The training camp was a well-rounded one, with stops in Ukraine, Glendale Fight Club and Burbank, focusing on all the places where the fight could go.

“She trained here (US) for Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, striking,” Lazurko said. “She had many different styles of training partners. Step-by-step and with one week before, she’s almost ready for the fight.

She usually about 120 pounds in training, but as of February 18th she was a little lighter at 115, meaning she’s free to load up on the carbs.

Ovchynnikova is confident she’s learned from past disappointments, such as the loss to Joanne Calderwood. “In the fight with Joanne, she was like a favourite and Joanne was like an underdog, because Lena was undefeated,” Lazurko translated. “There was too much pressure from friends and family, because it was a big fight and she was undefeated.  It was a good lesson for her for the future, to train more and never think she’s much better than her opponent.”

It seems to be working, as Ovchynnikova is undefeated since December of 2014, including winning the WMMAF World MMA Championship,  the Boxxtomi Muay Thai Women’s Championship, and WBC Muay Thai Women’s World flyweight title.

Ovchynnikova is an avid painter away from the cage and finds time for the horses and motorbikes.

Now, it’s onward and upward to Bellator’s flyweight division.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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