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Given his close proximity to Chimaev, Kutateladze said he was not surprised by his rapid rise.
“About his amazing performance, I’m not surprised. He deserves it and works super hard for where he is now. It’s not the limit, there’s much more to come.”
Kutateladze’s own journey took him from Georgia to Russia – where he took up jiu-jitsu at the age of five – and then on to Sweden.
He put his peripatetic background down to various factors, from financial to political.
On arriving in Sweden he was first based in Lund, outside Malmo, where he trained, worked and lived at a gym – often in spartan conditions.
“I was working there as an instructor, living in the gym, slept on the mats for 2-3 years maybe and holding classes, and if something needed to be done I did it, fix something, paint, a lot of garden work,” he said.
“At the same time I had to train, my main thing is my career, but at that time I had my two losses in my career, they are from that time because I didn’t have any coach, any team, I was pretty much training myself and working 14, 15, 16 hours a day. But after that I found Allstars and after that things started falling into place.
“I didn’t lose almost five years now. Hopefully, with God’s will, it’s going to continue that way.”
Kutateladze has a ready-made example in the form of Chimaev of what can be achieved in a short space of time in the UFC, and when asked if his friend had offered any advice ahead of is debut, the response was typically succinct: “just smash everybody.”
Chimaev has certainly done that so far; on Fight Island this weekend, Kutateladze will begin his attempts to do exactly the same.