Mike Zambidis fresh from his 155th fight and win against the Danish Champion Rhassan Muhareb at the tournament hosted by Athletic Club "Minoas" in Heraclion, Crete. "Iron" Mike made an impressive and dynamic performance in the sold out arena with more than 3000 people cheering the Greek Champion.
Muhareb came to Greece well prepared, in order to last all three rounds against Zambidis, trying to destroy his game. Mike started the fight with a lot of energy, pounding continuous punches and kicks his opponent, offering a great show to the fans of Crete.
I caught up with Mike reflecting on his thoughts and his highly anticipated re-match against Australia's John Wayne Parr.
Where are you currently living and training?
I am living and training in Athens, Greece, at the moment.
Why has Muaythai been an important part of your fight professionalism?
Now that I am fighting with K1 rules, I have to be familiar with Muaythai.
Would you like to train and fight in Thailand?
Training in Thailand is already in my schedule for 2009, and we are under negotiations with some promoters for kick boxing fights in the future.
You have been training since you were 9 years old and fighting professionally since 2000, if you look back who would be your top 3 fighters you fought?
After 155 fights, I have shared the ring with many strong opponents. Especially after 2003, every year, in K1, I fight against the top kick boxers of the world! So, the top fighters I have fought with are more than 3 for sure!
How would you describe your passion for fighting?
How would you describe your condition right now?
Really good! My energy is on high levels.
Committing to training is the first step to success and achieving results, what helps you continue your commitment?
My love for kick boxing and my need to develop as much as possible, keeps me focused.
Professionally you surround yourself with key people to assist your training and development how does this reflect your achievements?
I believe that the "weapons" you have in the ring are as important as the ones you have outside the ring. For me, the help of my team is very important for my good psychological condition, my athletic performance and the whole success.
Are you doing any cross training in other Martial Arts to develop your fighting style?
I emphasise on Muaythai and Boxing.
Do you have any advice for fighters coming into the ring?
Vision, faith, patience, persistence, discipline and all these in the right direction.
Have you spotted any upcoming young fighters to look out for in Greece?
I have spotted some new talents in Greece, but I believe they need special training and fight programmes in order to be able to fight in organisations of high level.
Mike you have a lot of Australian fans, would you come back and fight down under again?
I know I have many fans in Australia, many thousands of them are lovely Greek people! Of course I am going to fight in Australia soon and right now, we are just finalising conversations for a big fight with John Wayne Parr.
You have fought a few strong Australian fighters who would stand out the most as your toughest opponent and why?
Although, they are not the strongest opponents I have had, they are big names worldwide, especially in Australia: I have played with John Wane Parr and Daniel Dawson, who I have won over. Of course, I enjoyed most the fight with Dawson because the match had many exchanges of hits and much of a show. On the other hand, Parr most of the time was trying to hug me!!!!
You have now committed to fight JWP in Australia in May 2009, how did this come about?
Every year I try to fight in Australia because I have a lot of supporters there! This fight was proposed to me and I accepted the challenge!
Anything you would like to say to JWP?
I will give my best!
Balancing your fighting professionalism and relationship commitments, what do you think it takes to be a fighter's partner?
Mutual understanding is the key.
Do you have any goals or expectations for 2009?
My goal is to win the K1 title and the opening of my first Kick Boxing Gym, which will be named "Zambidis Club".
In closing I would like to thank Mike and wish him all the best in his upcoming fights for 2009.
Hope to see him in the GP, always pus on a good fight.