written by Nick Shimkin / photos by Angelo Carchesio
In his fourth professional fight, Dennis “The Great” Buzukja steps up to fight a crafty veteran in William Calhoun on the main card of Ring of Combat 70. Representing the Serra-Longo fight team, Buzukja is no stranger to success and big moments, and will look to showcase his talents on the biggest stage of his young career.
Although a young fighter in his own right, Buzukja has a wealth of experience both in his career and through the support of fighters from his team. He made his professional debut in Nassau Coliseum for Bellator MMA, winning by first round knockout over a tough Ryan Castro. Most recently, Buzukja travelled to Australia to help teammate and UFC lightweight contender Al Iaquinta prepare for his fight against Dan Hooker. He was around all of the media obligations, weigh ins, and was in the locker room before one of the biggest UFC events of the year. This big stage experience and being around the pinnacle of the sport is something that gives the young professional strength. “Being there and experiencing all of the things I have, it really makes me more comfortable with the big stage. I’ve already seen it all, so when it comes time to fight I’m ready”
Now in his third fight under the Ring of Combat banner, Buzukja is fighting on the main card against a crafty veteran and wants to win his second in a row and follow the mold that many of his teammates and other Ring of Combat veterans have followed: getting to the UFC. “All of these guys, these world champions and UFC contenders, went through Ring of Combat. I know that every fight I win is one step closer to getting to where I want to be, at the top of our sport.” Being on the main card this young in his career, where fighters like Chris Weidman, Frankie Edgar, and Matt Serra all made a name for themselves is a huge point in Buzukja’s career.
This camp is business as usual for the Staten Island native, working with the Serra-Longo fight team to make sure he is at his peak come fight time. The fighters from this team split time between Serra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Longo-Weidman MMA, creating a system that breeds excellent fighters like Al Iaquinta, Aljamain Sterling, Merab Dvalishvili, Matt Frevola, and of course Chris Weidman. “I have the best team and the best system. We split up the sparring between the two gyms, but we have a perfect unison. I see all of my teammates having success, so I’m going to do the same things as them. Camp has been excellent as usual.” Buzukja also spends time at the New York Sports Science Lab with Dr. Piazza to make sure his body is performing at its optimal capacity.
New York Fighting would like to thank Dennis for this interview and wish him luck in his upcoming bout at Ring of Combat 70 on November 23rd at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Fans can watch LIVE on UFC Fight Pass starting at 7:30pm ET.
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