"I will be aggressive. I'm a serious challenge for Ivan"
“I will be aggressive. I'm a serious challenge for Ivan”
This is an interview of Rodney Wallace, participant of the main MMA fight. His rival is Ivan Shtyrkov. The fighters will have a heavyweight bout (more than 93 kg) in the final of a gala show.
- What do you know about your rival?
- I know that Ivan is a strong guy, but he started his professional career not so long ago. It’s hard for me to emphasize a characteristic feature of beginning fighters, but I can say that he is a strong fighter, who has strong strokes.
- Have you watched his fights? If yes, how would you characterize him?
- I have watched his fights with Jeffrey Monson and Antonio Silva (Bigfoot). I think that he did what he was able to do as a fighter. He has only 8 fights, and I have 40, so I have more experience, I see many mistakes, which he makes and I know how to use his skills in my interest. It’s not difficult for me.
- Do you know his strong and weak points?
- I’ve noticed that Ivan isn’t strong in wrestling. In ground fighting he has strong strokes. They aren’t skillful but they are strong.
- Would you consider the following fact as a disadvantage for you: you rival is bigger than you, he has another weight category (heavyweight) and the majority of your fights were held with light heavyweight fighters?
- Actually, he isn’t bigger than me. Maybe he is one of the smallest fighters I had to have a bout with, because many American fighters lose much weight before bouts. I think that his weight is 225-230 lbs. and I weight about 230 lbs. We are practically identical. Ivan doesn’t lose weight, but I had to do it to have an opportunity to have light heavyweight bouts.
- You don’t have a lot of ahead-of-time wins. Does it mean that you are going to conduct the whole bout?
- I am not going to, but if we have to fight for 15 minutes, we will fight for 15 minutes. If we have to fight for 2 minutes, it will be also great. I think that after the third minute I will have more advantages.
- How would you characterize yourself as a fighter? What is your strong point – stance or ground fighting?
- I don’t think it’s very important to me. I don’t care – I prefer not to be blown. If Ivan prefers stance, I’m going to have the ground fighting. I’m trying to find his weak points and use them in my interest.
- We understand that you are going to win Ivan, but how fast will you change your tactics, if your basic game plan doesn’t work?
- It’s easy enough because I don’t have a basic game plan. I will look for opportunities. I’m 100% sure that I’m faster. I have much more experience and shrewdness in this sphere. I will wait for an auspicious moment. The main thing is not to be knocked-out in 2 minutes (laughing), then it will be easier.
- Do you agree that “credentials” in MMA often aren’t important and MMA fighters are less excited about their “nulls” in the loss column than boxers?
- It’s 100% true, because in boxing it’s easier to have a “null” in the loss column. Boxing isn’t similar to MMA. You choose a rival you will fight with. In MMA your promoter and match-maker choose a rival for you, they pay you depending on a rival you will fight with. In MMA there are a lot of ways to lose, so your loss isn’t of high importance. If you fight fittingly, you will have recognition. You can win 5 or 10 bouts and people will like you. You can lose, but people won’t stop liking you.
- You are going to have not the first bout in Russia. If we speak about Russian fighters, what’s the difference between Russian and American fighters in general?
- I know that Russian fighters don’t lose much weight but that is not the case with American fighters – they lose much weight before bouts (up to 10-15 kg). We also have a lot of doping tests (testosterone, steroids), and you don’t.
- What should the audience expect from your fight with Ivan Shtyrkov?
- I will be aggressive. I’m a serious challenge for Ivan, but he isn’t one for me. This bout will show
whether he is good enough to have bouts with big fighters.
Let us add that in terms of the gala show there will be 11 fights (including MMA, professional boxing and Muay Thai). 10 fighters will challenge titles (5 bouts).
The show will be broadcast live on the company’s YouTube-channel.