Interview: Sasha Palatnikov dissects upcoming fight with Impa Kasanganay

UFC welterweight Sasha Palatnikov spoke with Fight Night Picks newcomer John Hyon Ko recently, and wasn’t shy about making a prediction for his April 10 fight with Impa Kasanganay.

“I’m very confident in my abilities and I’m confident I can get him out of there within the first two rounds,” Palatnikov, wearing a Juventus jersey, said on the video call.

The Hong Kong-born Palatnikov (6-2), who trains out of Las Vegas, won his UFC debut over Louis Cosce by third-round TKO in November. While he wanted to return to the Octagon by March, he didn’t get another call from the UFC until late February when they offered him Kasanganay (8-1).

Most UFC fans know Kasanganay from being on the receiving end of Joaquin Buckley’s knockout of the century. Kasanganay, a usual middleweight, will be dropping down to 170 pounds for his bout with Palatnikov

“The thing is I’m one of the bigger, stronger guys at 170,” Palatnikov said. “A lot of the welterweights I spar with are a lot bigger (than him), a lot heavier walking around).”

Both fighters are primary strikers with college football backgrounds — Kasanganay at Lenoir-Rhyne University and Palatnikov at University of Buffalo — but Palatnikov feels he has the advantage.

“The first thing I see is my footwork and ability to move is a much better tool than he has,” Palatnikov said. “I look and puzzles … and I’ve fought tougher puzzles.”

The fight is scheduled for the prelims of the UFC on ABC card on Saturday, April 10.

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