Ilja Dragunov did not dwell on the negatives of quarantine. Rather, he embraced the free time with his family and remained focused until he could be blown away by the setup at BT Sport Studios.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes, Ilja Dragunov opened up about how quarantine and everything surrounding COVID-19 did not shake his mental preparation for his NXT UK Championship match against WALTER.
“I don’t need to do anything to keep my focus. My focus is always alive,” Ilja said. “This is like my intensity in the ring. I always have it. I always have this fire inside of me. I especially felt it when this whole thing started with the pandemic like it wasn’t an easy situation for us all. It was very hard for a lot of people and a lot of people showed a lot of strength during this situation.”
He continued, “I can say, I need to put strength into this and I saw the positive side and on the one hand, I can’t wrestle, we can’t do anything. But on the other hand, I can spend so much great, fulfilling time with my family just to recover, just to get my head straight and also to put in a lot of preparation, like I worked out like five days a week straight, three and a half hours, just increased my training routine just to be as prepared, as intense as focused as I could be, to come back and to go with everything I have into this chance.”
In regards to the new set up at BT Sport Studios, Dragunov called it “the highest level of professionalism” and a perfect way to get back to running shows with NXT UK.
“I thought it was beautiful. It definitely lived up to the hype. That BT Sports studio was the highest level of professionalism. It was the perfect start to get back in and to show that we are always NXT UK, we are strong. And this is the perfect environment to show how strong we are, how strong we can come back and be. I think we did that. We’re going be stronger and stronger all the time. Doesn’t matter how long it takes,” Dragunov said.
Unfortunately, Ilja Dragunov was unsuccessful in his attempt to dethrone WALTER as NXT UK’s king. Read the full results of the most recent episode of NXT UK at this link.