Blagoy “Baga” Ivanov (Благой Иванов), 33, of Sofia, Bulgaria is competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship for the fourth time. The Bulgarian mixed martial artist is one of the 24 MMA fighters on the “UFC 244” fight card.
Featuring 12 MMA bouts, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold “UFC 244” at the Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, United States on November 2, 2019. In the ninth bout of the evening, Ivanov will compete in the heavyweight division against Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis, 34, of Houston, Texas, USA.
Born in Sofia on October 9, 1986, Ivanov is a black belt in judo and an international masters of sports in Sambo. In 2008, he won the Combat Sambo World Championships in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
As an MMA fighter, Ivanov has been competing professionally since 2007. He competed in Bellator MMA from 2011 to 2014.
Ivanov made his UFC debut at “UFC Fight Night 133” at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, USA. He lost via unanimous decision to Junior “Cigano” dos Santos, 35, of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
After the loss, Ivanov bounced back by scoring two consecutive UFC wins both via unanimous decision. He defeated Ben Rothwell, 38, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA at “UFC on ESPN+ 4” at the INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas, USA on March 9, 2019 and Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa, 26, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia at “UFC 238” at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, USA on June 8, 2019.
Currently, Ivanov has 18 wins, 2 losses, 0 draw and 1 No Contest. On the other hand, Lewis has 21 wins, 7 losses, 0 draw and 1 No Contest.
Including Bulgaria and the U.S., eight countries will be represented at “UFC 244.” The others are Belarus, Brazil, Canada, England, Finland and Suriname.
Bulgaria is solely represented by Ivanov. Lewis is one of the 15 fighters representing the U.S.
“UFC 244” will be headlined by Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, 34, of Miami, Florida, USA and Nate Diaz, 34, of Stockton, California, USA. They will compete in the welterweight division and the winner will take home the special BMF belt to be presented by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Meanwhile, here is Ivanov explaining why he wanted to fight Lewis: