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Sven Bean Talks Ludwig's Future; Spratt Comments; And Tyson Vs Cro Cop
He's a promoter and manager. Sven Bean manages some of the best fighters in the world including Duane "Bang" Ludwig and Pete Spratt. Hear the man talk about K-1, Ludwig's future, Spratt's comments, and Tyson vs Cro Cop, in our Interview of the Week.
Ryan Bennett: It's unfortunate that your going to miss the IFC Tournament this weekend in your backyard of Colorado.
Sven Bean: Yea I got to go up and corner Pete Spratt this weekend as he goes up to fight in Canada for TKO against George St.Pierre. So I will miss the show here. Duty calls, I gotta go.
Ryan: Tell me about the buzz in Denver for this huge IFC tournament.
Sven: Obviously when a show of this magnitude comes into town the first people to know about it is the fight community. Word of mouth is great here. Everyone knows it's coming and hopefully they will do the numbers they need.
Ryan: You mention cornering Pete Spratt this weekend. You heard his comments on MMAWeekly Radio. What was your take about his thoughts?
Sven: First off I think you have to realize where Pete's mind frame is. He's very competitive and he's fired up for this upcoming fight. I didn't listen live because of a doctor's appointment. Pete left a message on my cell phone saying he went off on the radio, so I knew something was up. I listened to the radio archives and he's just excited. I don't think he really said anything wrong, I just think he's very amped up so he came off strong. I think he wants to get back and fighting the top guys again. Not saying this fight isn't big this weekend, it's just that he wants to stay busy and fight on all the shows. He's just frustrated about that right now.
Ryan: St.Pierre made the comments last week that Pete is overlooking him. What do you think?
Sven: I don't think he's doing that at all. But at the same time that talk fuels him. I know he wants to win in dramatic fashion. I don't think he's overlooking him at all. I just think he wants to go in there, get the win and get the "W". That's all he's thinking about. He fights just one fight at a time. When you've been to the big show, you have to realize that every fight on the show needs to be a stellar performance to keep you at the top. He's not looking past this guy at all. He's putting pressure on himself to do well.
Ryan: These types of fight are tough, because Pete is favored to win this fight and he is supposed to win this fight. St.Pierre is new to the fans but I know he's a tough guy. I think this will be a tough fight because St.Pierre has EVERYTHING to gain and nothing to lose. Does Spratt feel he needs a KO to get back into the UFC?
Sven: I think people fight in the UFC when the time, the opponent and the purse is right. Things need to come together and timing is a big part of that. The UFC did make an offer for us to fight. It just wasn't the right fight. There's nothing that the UFC is doing wrong or anything like that. The UFC just has a few spots available on each pay per view, so it comes down to timing a lot of the time. We did a three fight deal with them which was great at the time, but in that deal we had to fight Carlos Newton and we kind of stepped up to the plate and helped them out by taking that fight at that time. Pete wasn't quite ready at that time for Newton. But what we really wanted was Robbie Lawler, so the UFC stepped up to the plate and gave us Robbie Lawler, so they stepped up to the plate that third fight with Lawler. Now the contract was up and we wanted to keep going and continue the momentum and fight because that was a big win for us. The fighters that were available for us to fight, didn't make sense career wise.
Ryan: Was one of those guys you mention Matt Hughes?
Sven: They did put Matt Hughes on the table, and we said we wanted to fight Matt, but we wanted to do it in two fights. We wanted to get a couple of fights in the Octagon and build it a little more. We learned that from jumping in against Carlos....
Ryan: Let me jump in here a bit. Here's what the fans are going to say. They are going to say "Pete has to the fight the top guys no matter what because he's fighting in the UFC." Then there's the other side of that and I'm not sure if this is what you are saying...."Robbie Lawler is a great fighter, but he hasn't had to face Carlos Newton or Matt Hughes" is that correct?
Sven: Yea, but I'm saying more than that. Pete, before he faces Matt, needs to face a couple of guys. I would love to have that in the UFC because he is built up more, becomes more recognizable. If he fights two more times before Matt then it becomes a much bigger fight for us and the UFC. The problem with that thought process is the fact that it always doesn't work with the UFC because they have only so many spots available. They wanted us to fight Matt Hughes right away and I didn't want to do and that's why he's not fighting for the UFC right now. It has nothing to do with the UFC not offering fights, it was judgment call on our part. To keep him busy we took this fight against St.Pierre. I'm not taking anything away from St.Pierre because let me tell you, those guys up there, they are a very serious team of fighters. You look at Loiseau, St.Pierre, Menjivar, they are really, really, good. They just aren't known to the fans. I don't see Pete losing this weekend though.
Ryan: Here's the scary part though Sven. Look at what's happened recently. Jeremy Jackson was supposed to be in the UFC, he loses to Nick Diaz, they put Diaz in the UFC to face Dennis Hallman for September 26th....Hallman then loses in King of the Cage, so he's out and they put Jackson back in. Pete has to see the track record of these guys around him right?
Sven: That's EXACTLY right. Hey if I could predict the winners of every fight, I wouldn't be a fight promoter or manager, I would just bet on the fights. That's what I like about the fight game, you never know. It's not a team sport, you just go out there one on one and throw it all out there. You train so hard, and even then, when it's not your night, it's not your night.
Ryan: Yea this business is not forgiving at all. Let's talk about another one of your fighters, Duane "Bang" Ludwig. We saw him fight in Japan in K-1 Max....last time we saw him in MMA was against Genki Sudo. When's he fighting again?
Sven: His next fight is in November back in Japan in the Max series. This won't be a tournament, this will be a single bout. It's nice that they are keeping the middleweight fighters in the public eye. We don't have an opponent yet, but it will be a Japanese fighter. We are actually hoping for Genki Sudo in that fight. I think it would be great. If Duane could fight Genki in stand up rules and not have to even worry about the take downs, then I think it's light's out.
Ryan: I don't think Sudo would want that fight if it's just stand up in K-1....
Sven: I don't know, he might. Genki is a warrior and he's a star over there. If they pay him right you never know. I think Ono could be another name to fight. There's a ton of great middleweight fighters. I know he would love to fight Masato again real bad. If he does it would probably be sometime next year for his title. I think the best thing that could happen to Duane was that Masato won. It solidified the K-1 Max division as a promotion. It basically created job security because now they have a champion and they will do it again. Last year there was 8,000 people there, this year 16,000. Hopefully it keeps building like the heavyweights are doing.
Ryan: You mention the heavyweights, that is a crazy division right now. It's a circus. We are hearing about Mike Tyson coming in. You have Bob Sapp fighting a match against Kimo, you have Butterbean out there. Mirko Cro Cop said it's like professional wrestling. More of a spectacle that sport. What's your take on the heavyweight division?
Sven: I think they are in a tough situation. There are only so many great heavyweight kick boxers. Unfortunately, most of them are at the end of the careers. They are fazing out. They are trying to bring young guys in, but they are in a weird position because they don't have enough, young great fighters out there that are coming up. So they have to go to the entertainment side. It's all good and as long as they continue to sell a lot of tickets and continue to get people at the shows, to watch the fight it's fine. There's a very thin line though to cross before the point of no return. Bob Sapp isn't the most technical fighter, but he is winning, so what can you do. You can't deny he's a force to reckon with. Is he the best stylistic fighter? No, but hey he's so big and strong, that's why only a few guys has had some success against him.
Ryan: With that said, how will Mike Tyson do in K-1?
Sven: Depending on who he fights. If he fights Bob Sapp, he will knock out Sapp in my opinion. If he fights Mirko Cro Cop, he wouldn't stand a chance against him....
Ryan: Why do you say that?
Sven: Because Mirko will move and is very quick. Tyson would never get close to him and I know Tyson has never felt a leg kick, especially coming from a guy like Mirko, even a kick to the body, he hasn't' felt power like that from a kick. Even Tyson has said he doesn't want to get kicked in the head. Here he is fighting in K-1 and doesn't want to get kicked to the head. I don't think he has to worry about with Bob Sapp, but Mirko or Ernesto (Hoost) he will get kicked and we will see what happens. They will be smart and give him the right fights to start off. I'm not saying they will be worked fights, because he will have to win those fights on his own accord, but he isn't going to fight the top guys right away. Maybe Butterbean...(laughs)
Ryan: It will be interesting to see what happens with Butterbean...(laughs). See this is what is killing it though. You have Butterbean, Mike Tyson and Sapp, then you have these smaller guys like Masato and Bang who are truly talented and they can all go....
Sven: Duane and Pete have more talent in one arm or one leg than Butterbean or Sapp have put together. The little guys can't get a 10th of the pay day these guys are getting. There are so many more 170 pounds guys than 300 pound guys.
Ryan: See that's the tough part, these guys have more talent, but it's Sapp that sells the tickets and creates more money in the game. Back to Bang Ludwig. When will we see him fight in the UFC?
Sven: I think both Pete and Duane fighting in the UFC next year. There just are enough spots on the next couple of shows. I've heard from Dana White and Joe Silva and they like their styles and they are both exciting fighters. What the UFC is doing is trying to get more positions for more fighters, so we will just have to wait it out and see what happens. It's all about timing. You have to get the right fighters, the right money, etc.
Ryan: Cool anything else we need to get into this interview?
Sven: Yea I just wanted to say good luck to my girl, Amanda Buckner since I won't be there for the IFC this weekend. She has trained her butt off for it. She is a stud. She picked up training fast. She's jiu jiutsu based, but has worked a lot on her stand up and boxing. She went toe to toe with Jennifer Howe for two rounds. It was amazing to see. She's just gotten better since then. She's real athletic and she's going to get better. There are less opportunities for women fighters than the men, so if an opportunity comes up, you have to take it no matter what. There isn't many women fighters out there. She has had so many high profile fights early in her career, but you have to take them because you don't know how many you will get. She is in the top 10 in my opinion and i hope she does real well this week.
Ryan: Alright Sven, good job man. We will have you back on the radio soon...
Sven: Thanks Ryan, should be a fun weekend for fight fans every where.
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In L.A., Where ANYthing south of Wilshire(BLVD) is all hood.
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Bang will murder Genki stand up only....Thats like Sudo asking for a grappling match...retarded
The Grand Master Of Flowers
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