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Old 03-23-2012, 05:20 PM #1
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Default Denis Smoldarev: “I don’t mind when people call me Brock Lesnar”

March 12, 2012 By [Link View Has Been Removed. Click Here To Unlock This Content.]

Estonian heavyweight Denis Smoldarev (3-0) is only 21-Year-Old, but M-1 fans already had the chance to watch him fighting last November, when he won in his M-1 debut in Ufa and became M-1 Selection semifinalist

- Denis, how are you preparations going?

– I’m preparing for the fight in Alexander Nevkski fighting team with experienced trainers. I train twice a day, I work on my striking technique in the morning and on my wrestling in the evening, also I work very hard on my stamina. I work hard and I want to be prepared for anything that can happen in this fight

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- What do you know about your opponent?

– I met with Denis Komkin in Ufa, when we both had the quarterfinal fights of M-1 Selection tournament. Denis is a good guy, we got along very well, he is a good and experienced fighter, good striker, so you can expect anything in the fight with him. I think, we will show good fight, because we both are good fighters

- Tell a little bit about yourself and your way to professional MMA

– I loved sports since I was a kid, when I lived in Narva-Joesuu. It’s the closest to Russia Estonian city – not even city, more like small-small town, only Russians live there, I started to train judo when I was 12. Later I moved to Narva, continued my judo trainings, then I had to move to Tallinn, where I had a chance to train judo and sambo. I saw Fedor Emelianenko fighting when I was 14 – that’s when I decided to become MMA fighter. After I asked my sparring partners even on judo training sessions, to hold the pads, so I worked on my striking and kicking skills a little bit. I had friend named Ilya Andreev he had very good stand-up skills, we trained together. Later I started to train in “Garant”, the best Estonian fight club, with the great coach Vladimir Velichko. One month later they offered me fight on the local Estonian MMA tournament. I won my first professional fight there

- How did your family react on your fights in MMA?

– My father made me train sports since I was a kid. I was just a big fat lazy kid (laughs), so my father almost physically made me train, just to feel better. He couldn’t expect that someday I will become MMA fan and will never see myself without trainings and fights. First not my father nor my brother was satisfied by my choice, but I talked with them and explained that I love this sport, this is my way, so now they are OK with it, they watch my fights and support me
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- You are well-rounded fighter, you participate in kickboxing, sambo and MMA tournaments. What style do you like the most?

– Sambo and kickboxing have been in my life only to prepare myself for MMA, get used to the different fighting styles. Of course, I would like to participate in K-1 tournaments as well. Now I’m trying to get some experience on the amateur European and world kickboxing championships, I would like to make my debut in professional kickboxing someday, but my main priority at this moment is MMA

- How did you get to Alexander Nevski team?

– I met well-know sambo trainer Alexander Korschunov in the airport after combat sambo European championship. He asked me how I live and what I’m going to do in the future. I told him that I have the dream to become professional MMA fighter and it came out that he is promoter as well, that’s how I got to Alexander Nevski. It was my pleasure to accept this offer, I like to train here very much, it’s a very strong team with very good trainers

- Which of M-1 heavyweights would you like to see as your opponents?

– I would like to win M-1 Selection tournament first, after it I would like to fight against Guram. He is a champion, he has the belt, so I think every fighter wants to fight with the champion
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- Which one of your fights was the most memorable fight in your career?

– It was on European combat sambo championship in Minsk. Sambo coach came to our gym and asked me if I want to participate in European championship. I didn’t even know combat sambo rules, but I told him: “Yes, I’m ready to go there”. Me and friend and sparring partner Andrei went to Minsk by the car. I got fighting clothes and went to the mat. I won against French and Bulgarian fighters by KOs, and then came the most memorable fight in my career, in the final against Kirill Sidelnikov. Before that moment I saw the fighters like Fedor and Kirill only on the TV, and here I saw him coming to the fight against me, wow. This fight played very big role in my whole professional career. I think I was fighting on the same level with him, it was good fight that was considered the best fight on this championship. We made friends with Kirill after the tournament, he is a great guy, very quiet and humble person. I hope we will meet again in the future

- Do you have any hobbies?

– I like to read, I like music, but I had not so much free time before. I worked as the bouncer in the club, and I got very tired of it. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to be a full-time fighter, so I will not have to work in the clubs. I don’t like bouncer’s job, it’s not good for the training regimen of professional sportsman

- What do you think about the nickname “Brock Lesnar” that fans gave you after your first time in Russia?

– I’m OK with it. Some people called me Brock Lesnar in Estonia before. I don’t think that I look like Brock, maybe only the profile of my face. I got the similar hairstyle in Ufa, maybe I’ll make it again in St.-Petersburg. I like this style. But, of course, I’m too small comparing to Lesnar, though my weight is 120 kg. He is more muscular than me

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- Did you have any idols in the sports?

– Yes, of course. When I was training judo, I was looking up to Alexei Budylin, Estonian judoka who participated in Olympic Games, he got the medals from world and European championships, Olympic Games. In MMA, of course, I’m one of the many Fedor’s fans. All guys from sambo and judo like that so ordinary looking normal guy has became the legend of MMA. Anything can happen in the future, but Fedor will always be the best fighter in MMA history. He is a legend, nothing can change it

- Would you like to say anything to your fans?

– I want to thank all Russian MMA fans for their support. Also I think that this interview will be interesting for the people from my home country Estonia and I want to thank them as well. Greetings to my mother, father and Nastya (laughs)
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