Timur Khizriev unhappy with 2024 PFL 3 win, thinks Ramadan affected his performance

CHICAGO – Timur Khizriev got the win and 3 points in the opening round of the 2024 PFL featherweight season, but he’s convinced there was room for much more.

Friday, Khizriev (15-0) defeated veteran Brett Johns in a unanimous decison on the preliminary card of PFL 2024, Week 3 at Wintrust Arena. Although it was a clean victory, Khizriev doesn’t think he performed at his best against Johns (20-4), and he has an idea as to why that happened.

“To be honest, I’m not fully happy with my performance,” Khizriev said in Russian through a translator in his post-fight interview. “Obviously, a win is a win, but I just feel like I wasn’t fully there. My normal energy wasn’t present, and I think it was partly because of Ramadan. I was fasting, and the last day was specially hard for me. Normally, I don’t have a problem with weight cutting and this time I had a little trouble, so I don’t think I was fully recovered.

“But again, we’re moving on, and hopefully the next fight will be more interesting.”

Johns chose a heavy grappling approach, something that didn’t surprise Khizriev. Khizriev just thought he would’ve been more dangerous on the ground when it came to grappling with Johns, which leaves him with a sour taste despite keeping his unbeaten record and moving on with three points to the final season bout.

“No, I was not surprised with him wrestling,” Khizriev said. “As a matter of fact, I felt that was the only chance he actually had. With striking, I think he realized he didn’t have a chance with me.

“I’m just not really happy with the way I was on the ground today, and I know he has wrestling. I know he has fought good guys like (Aljamain) Streling and you know, I was expecting that. But again, it wasn’t the best performance, but we’ll get another chance.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for PFL 2024, Week 3.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie