Q: It's been 6 months since you last "Index" interview and a lot has happened in your career since then. Let's start with K-1 and the Peter Aerts fight ?
A: Fans picked me to compete in K-1 last 16 against the legendary Peter Aerts. It was a great fight, i won on points. But, what's more important it that i showed im stronger, technically better, and at this moment at a higher level then him.
Q: You had 2 easy fights after...
A: Yea, in the meantime i did a couple of MMA fights, that turned out to be quite easy. I beat Thompson and Sylvester in less then a minute. They aren't the toughest fighters in the world, but it's not easy to beast anyone that fast. No one likes to lose, especially in 30sec.
Q: Badr Hari defeated you via stoppage in the K-1 semis. You weren't to happy about the way it finished ?
A: Yea, Badr Hari was excellent in that fight. The countdown was justified, but after that i didn't take a single strong shot, i wasn't rocked and i don't know why it was ended. Things like that happen in K-1 so im not surprised. If i'd won, it would've been me against Semmy Schilt. We are from the same team so im not sorry i lost.
Q: In your last fight you hurt the legendary Fujita pretty bad, similar to what Mirko did to him ?
A: Fujita fight was very good. I knocked him out after 1 minute. It was a huge knockout that hurt him bad. He fell into a coma after the fight, i didn't come to for 6 hours. They managed to fix him up in the hospital. You can see on the tape i followed him to the lockeroom. I called Japan the next day to ask how he was, and they said he was ok, but was left in the hospital for observation.
Q: What's next ?
A: I've been training for a few days, and came here in Croatia to relax a bit. My next fight is in Dream in March. Don't want to discuss opponents yet.
Q: Why haven't you defended your Strikeforce title for almost 2 years ? There are rumours of a doping scare
A: It's true that i haven't defended it for 2 years. Actually, i had something scheduled for 2009. but then i got injured. The real truth is that there weren't any really opponents for me to fight at the beginning of Strikeforce. Everything was new and there was no one to fight. They didn't complain and i competed in Dream and K-1 in the meantime. Then when real fighters came, i got injured in 2009. I cut myself, and had a serious bacterial infection.
Q: That's the injury you got in a bar fight ?
A: It was a small cut actually, but it got infected and my arm got swollen to the elbow. It happened in a night club where my brother and me got into a fight with 7 security guards. 7 to 1 it was. I don't want to discuss details, but everyone wants to help their family, and in this case i helped my brother. It ended up costing me a lot of money. I had to cancel a fight, and the antibiotics exhausted me so i had to cancel an august fight as well.
Q: Fighting Fedor is your great desire. Will we ever see that ?
A: I will definitely fight Fedor this year. There's no doubt about it, unless he says no. I don't believe he will, but im a little worried about his managers. I'm sure he wants to fight, but im not sure people behind him do too.
Q: Why do you think they might prevent it ?
A: Because they know im the man that can beat him. Anyone is beatable and everyone has a weakness. You just need the tools to win. If you don't have the quality and the tools, you can't do it. Of course, i can lose to him. He is very experienced and very smart. He always puts a lot of thought in his opponents and how to beat them. Nevertheless, i think i will win.
Q: How do you rate the rest of the competition in Strikeforce ?
A: Besides Fedro, theres Brett Rogers. Big guy that doesn't worry me that much. Strong, but talks to much. I will fight him soon as well. Then theres Fabricio Werdum, and i definitely want to kill him. He a loudmouth, but i think hes first in line for Fedor, so that fight will wait a bit. Finally theres Andre Arlovski. A very good fighter i will also fight eventually.
Q: What about K-1 ? In the last interview you said that was in the past, but you went to the K-1 finals in the meantime ?
A: I didn't say i'd stop K-1. I'm getting better and having fun in those fights. But this year im focusing on Strikeforce, and my priority is the Fedor fight. First that, then everything else.
Q: Are you thinkging about going to the UFC and and joining the toughest competition ?
A: I wouldn't say UFC has the toughest competition. I think Strikeforce is getting stronger, theres me, Rogers, Fedor, Werdum, Arlovski... I'm not sure, i'd even say that the Strikeforce HW division is stronger then UFC's right now. So no, im not thinking of going there.
Q: We talked about Cro Cop a lot last time...
A: I don't want to talk about Cro Cop. He had an offer for a rematch and rejected it. That's it. If people avoid me, we can't fight. But, i will always tell the truth.
Q: Mirko had a heavy loss to Dos Santos in the meantime. Did you watch the fight ?
A: I think Mirko hasn't been training right for a while now. He made training mistakes, maybe he also has bad sparring partners. Maybe he should come train with us. We work good and hard, and im inviting him right now. I would like it if he joined our team and trained with us.
Q: He says he made a lot of progress with your countrymen Ivan Hyppolite. What do you think ?
A: I know Ivan, he trains Remy Bonjaski. But i think that's completely wrong for Mirko. Why ? Because Hyppolite was a kickbox middleweight champion, which is quite different from MMA and fighting heavyweights. I think that's a wrong coach choice and a bad training choice, this will only make it worse. He should start to think what's best for him, what he needs.
Q: What does he need ?
A: I train in the Netherlands, i've been training kickboxing for 15 years and that's the reason i can compete on the highest K-1 level. But, i know what i need besides kickbox to compete in the MMA. Mirko needs tactical strength trainings, more ground work, jj and he should improve his gnp. I understand what he's trying , but thats wrong.
Q: He's a favourite against Rothwell nevertheless ?
A: Yes, I expect him to beat Ben Rothwell. I don't usually follow UFC fighters, but Rothwell is nothing spectacular. He is big but Mirko shouldn't have any problems. Of course it all depends on the tactics he chooses. If hes in shape, i think Cro Cop will win. Without problems.
Q: What about your brother Velentijin, he was supposed to fight in Karlovac ?
A: I'm not sure why he isn't here. He had a very tough schedule in the last 3 months. He had 6 fights, then he took a vacation and im not sure whats going on now. I haven't heard from him. He said he is't coming but i don't know why.
Q: You spent the last summer in Croatia. Coming back ?
A: I love it here in Croatia, i had a lot of fun and i plan on coming to the coast every year. That's for sure. I was in Split and Hvar and i loved it. I plan on coming here a lot.
Q: Finally, where do you place yourself on the MMA hw ranking ?
A: I think im currently in the top 5. There's Fedor, and that big guy from the UFC, Brock Lesnar.Not sure about the rest, id say Dos Santos is up there. He really impressed me and i think theres a big carrier in front of him.
Well that is good enough for me looks like Overeem will be fighting at Dream 13! Lot's of other good stuff in here Strikeforce return, Cro Cop, Fedor etc etc.
Sorry guys I did NOT translate this so believe it if you want or give it shot yourself.