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UFC 254’s Liliya Shakirova reveals how Khabib Nurmagomedov played part in her debut call-up

ABU DHABI – Liliya Shakirova admits that she’ll head into the octagon not fully prepared for her UFC debut but will do all she can to spring a shock.

Uzbekistan’s Shakirova (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) takes on Lauren Murphy (13-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) in a flyweight matchup at UFC 254, and the in-form debutant spoke to the media, including MMA Junkie, about the experience of receiving a last-minute call-up to the UFC to compete on the main card of one of the biggest events of the year.

She also spoke of her pride of being the first female fighter from Uzbekistan to set foot inside the UFC octagon, and how lightweight champion and UFC 254 headliner Khabib Nurmagomedov has helped the development of the sport in her region to open up opportunities for fighters like her.

Watch the complete interview in the video above.

UFC 254 takes place Saturday at Flash Forum at Yas Island. The main card streams on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN+ and ESPN2.

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