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Exclusive Interview with Invicta’s Faith “The Immortal” Van Duin.

Ethan Mudford

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Following her impressive submission victory over Amanda Bell at Invicta FC 12 on April 24, 2015 there was much speculation as to whether Faith Van Duin would be fighting for the Featherweight title, currently held by the highly regarded Christiane “Cyborg” Justino. Some outlets said that it was a certainty whilst others said it was only a possibility. I decided to go straight to the source herself where we discussed everything from the potential title fight to the pride she has representing her home country of New Zealand.

Ethan Mudford: Hi there Faith, thanks so much for speaking with me today. First things first, Some media outlets are saying that you’re booked to fight for the Invicta Featherweight title and some are saying that it’s just a rumour. Can you let us know whether it’s official or not?

Faith Van Duin: Sure. At the Invicta 12 press conference I mentioned to Shannon Knapp (Invicta FC President) that come July I want to take a title back to New Zealand and she asked “Is that what you really want?” I said “Yes please.” Someone then asked Shannon the question again and she said “If that’s what Faith wants. She seems to be the next in line and not many people are putting their hand up so I don’t see why she cant have the fight.” The fight is not confirmed yet but I’m training like it is and waiting for the call.

E.M: Well it does make sense considering your recent win and especially if Shannon said that.

Will you be doing anything different for this training camp, provided you get the fight you’re after? Training with different people/coaches etc, working on certain aspects of the fight more in depth?

F.V.D: This training camp I’m stepping it up 10 fold as this opportunity doesn’t come around often. I am going to go above and beyond what I have ever done and make sure that I don’t leave any stone unturned so I can be confident in my mind, body and soul that I have done the best I could do come fight night.

E.M: That’s awesome to hear. Will you be doing all your training in New Zealand or will you be traveling elsewhere?

F.V.D: Staying in New Zealand as I need to work and look after my girls. Plus all my support is here.

E.M: Let’s go back in time a little bit. How did you first get into MMA? Was it always your intention to eventually get in the cage?

F.V.D: I always had gym memberships but never used them or committed to it and as my daughter’s got older and I was getting bigger I told myself I had to do something to show my daughters that there’s more to life then sitting around and getting big. I had a friend who talked about MMA and it sounded really interesting as I had never watched it or heard of it. After I looked it up and looked at places to train, I decided that I wanted to give it a go but make goals and stick to them no matter what. From day one before I even had my first training I wanted to be world champion and beat Ronda Rousey. I just wanted to show my daughter’s that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

E.M: I was actually going to bring up Ronda. With no women’s Featherweight division in the UFC, do you know if you’re able to make the 135 pound limit if they ever came calling?

F.V.D: Ronda is one of my goals so yes I will make 135 pounds. I have a feeling after I become Featherweight world champion the UFC will come calling.

FVD

E.M: Beating a name like Cyborg would be huge news in women’s MMA so I’m sure you would be on Dana White’s (UFC President) radar. Is there anybody you look up to in the sport? Or other sports?

F.V.D: I look up to other people’s fighting styles Like Trevor Salang my old Muay Thai trainer and Israel Adesanya. I love their skills and composure as well as their speed, power, movements, I just love watching them.

E.M: Yeah Israel seems to be making a name for himself which is great. Do you foresee MMA being more mainstream in New Zealand in the near future with the likes of yourself and others gaining exposure in the sport?

F.V.D: It’s definitely growing since I started 3 years ago and honestly I don’t know how it’s going to be in the future, I just hope we get seen as serious athletes and not looked over.

E.M: Yeah same here, the amount of training and dedication that you guys put in shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s all I’ve got for now Faith, thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it.

F.V.D: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me, every bit helps.

The potential fight between Cyborg and Van Duin will take place at Invicta FC 13 on July 10, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be the first of 3 MMA events over the weekend for International fight week, followed by UFC 189: Aldo vs McGregor and The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale, respectively.

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Bellator

Michael Page Not Focusing on Opponent Ahead of Boxing Debut

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to Bellator’s Michael ‘Venom’ Page, as he makes his boxing debut this Friday at the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night.

Page (12-0 MMA) is renowned for his entertaining fight style inside the cage, with most of his knockout and submission victories ending up in highlight reels online, that almost always go viral.

‘MVP’ was supposed to make his boxing debut on the undercard of David Haye vs Tony Bellew in March of this year, but due to ongoing negotiations with Bellator, his debut was delayed. Shortly after Page signed with Haye’s promotion “Hayemaker Ringstar.”

Q: So, Michael, we’re about five days out now from your big boxing debut, and still we have no name of an opponent? Can you break the big news, who will you be fighting next week?

I honestly couldn’t even tell you his name right now! I know I’ve got an opponent, but I haven’t even looked at him because it has changed so many times. I don’t like to pay too much attention to it, because it’s added stress. For me it’s just a case of turning up, and firing punches at whoever is across the ring.

Q: Is this fight 10 or 12 rounds? Given a standard boxing fight is a lot longer than your typical 15-minute MMA bout, has there been an emphasis on cardiovascular work in your training camp?

Depending on the opponent, I think it’s 6-rounds. The preparation has been different, I’m having to stress out my shoulders and core a lot. The kicking distance as well is very different, getting used to having people a bit closer. I’m getting used to the corners of the ring, I’ve done it before but not to this extent so I am familiar of it, but my body wasn’t really used to it.

Q: So, is this kind of like a one fight deal for Haye’s Ringstar promotion? Regardless of this fight’s outcome, will you return to MMA?

Not at all, I’m taking it seriously. Otherwise, I would have just had a super fight against a big name like McGregor did. This is why I can’t just jump into a 12 round fight, I need to adjust my body and get it prepared for boxing.

There’s no future plans yet, I’d like to have an MMA fight again before the end of this year, as I haven’t fought this whole year, but another opportunity for boxing may come up and I might get a chance to jump on that, so it depends.

Q: Were you frustrated that Bellator booked Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin, and if you could send a message to Daley right now what would it be?

I have no interest in him anymore. It feels so pathetic and unnecessary now. I don’t think he deserved that fight with Larkin right after the shocking display he put on in Wembley against Rory MacDonald. But good on him he beat Larkin, however he calls me out immediately after then goes on to say he’s past that fight, it just doesn’t make sense.

Credit – michaelpagemvp – Instagram

Q: A statement we hear a lot is “MVP is the only guy outside the UFC that I want in the UFC” People criticise the talent in Bellator and say you’re fighting nobodies, what do you say back to them?

The amount of times you hear “you shouldn’t fight this person, you should have fought that person.” Everyone’s got an idea of what the correct steps someone should make are, but at the end of the day it’s their career. People are so fickle and easy to forget. If you are a fan of somebody, just be a fan of them regardless of win or loss.

Q: I’ve got to ask about how things are with Bellator, because from the outside looking in it’s quite unclear. How is it relationship at the moment?

Yeah I get on with most of the guys, it’s like a small family. I’ve still got a couple of fights left with them, they’re growing very well, the only problem is I feel like they’re focusing a bit too much on ex UFC fighters. For me it says you’re classing yourself as second best. Bellator generate some amazing superstars and young talent, they should continue to promote them.

You can watch ‘MVP’ make his boxing debut this Friday night, as the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night will air at 21:00PM on Dave.

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BAMMA

Exclusive: Alex Lohore “Didn’t Know” Who Richard Kiely Was Before BAMMA 32 Booking

Harry Davies

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We spoke to the recently crowned BAMMA welterweight champion Alex Lohore, as he prepares to defend his title against Richard Kiely at BAMMA 32 in Dublin.

Lohore (13-1) won the vacant BAMMA welterweight title last month at BAMMA 31 in London. Fighting his longtime rival Nathan Jones on the night, Lohore knocked out “Mr Bag & Tag” with a knee in the first round.

Q: Obviously the rivalry between you and Jones had been going on for years, but you finished it in brutal fashion. Did you to speak to him after the fight?

Yeah I did have a chat with him. I was telling him that it was a great fight and we should train together sometime, but he was he wasn’t really keen on it. I guess he was still a bit sore about the defeat.

Q: In the cage after your win, you called out Richard Kiely, now you’re fighting him. Are you happy you got the opponent you asked for?

Everyone keeps saying I called him out, I didn’t call him out, he called me out! I didn’t even address his name, I said ‘this Irish kid has been running his mouth we’re going to go out there and shut him up.’ I didn’t even know who he was. He’s been mentioning my name and talking a lot of rubbish on my social media disturbing me and my fans.

Q: The finish against Jones was picture perfect. From the elbow, to the right hand, to the knee, was it the best of your career?

Yeah I think it is, by far! It was perfect technique. I knew as he was going he back he would try to duck in for the takedown. Because I was throwing the head kick anyway all I needed to do was just switch it to a knee. I couldn’t ask for any better.

Q: Given it’s in Dublin and Richard is Irish, How do you feel about going into enemy territory at BAMMA 32?

That’s great, that’s why I’m doing it! I need to be comfortable in every environment, so going out there will test. I wanted to be on the Dublin card, now I can teach him a little lesson too, I can’t wait.

Q: As you know the Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers has brought a lot of attention to BAMMA recently, what are your thoughts on him? 

He’s good man. For someone who doesn’t come from a fighting background and does reality TV stuff, he’s doing good. How can people say he should fight someone more experienced, because he is taking  guys that are on his level and he’s doing good.

He’s helping MMA fighters because he has got a big following so more people are going to be watching MMA and learning about MMA so it’s a good thing having him on board.

BAMMA32 will take place at the 3Arena in Dublin on November 10th. Tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.ie. The card will air live on both UNILAD’s Facebook page, and Dave.

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Bellator

Exclusive: Andrey Koreshkov eyeing fight with Rory MacDonald

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Former Bellator welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov is coming off of an interesting past two years. In 2015 he beat current welterweight champion Douglas Lima, via a dominant unanimous decision, in order to win the welterweight title. He returned in 2016 and beat former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson via another dominant beatdown. It seemed like Koreshkov was going to be the champion for a very long time, making elite fighters look like they had no business being in the cage with him.

Koreshkov’s world came crashing down one night in Isreal. The Russian was beating Douglas Lima in a rematch, he was up 20-18 on the score-cards, and it seemed like he was going to walk away with another successful title defense. Koreshkov forced Lima’s back against the fence and started winging punches at him, Lima started to do the same as he looked to get off the fence, and then it happened, a huge left hook caught Koreshkov on the chin and it was lights-out. Lima was once again champion, and Koreshkov’s reign was cut short.

What was next for Koreshkov after losing the title? Perhaps a move to middleweight? Bellator’s middleweight division has fewer contenders than the welterweight division and could promise a quicker path to the title for the Russian. Koreshkov is a big welterweight, standing at 6’1, he certainly wouldn’t be small in the higher weight class. Speaking to MMA Latest, Koreshkov was quick to shut down the idea of moving up. “No, no, I work hard at welterweight and I’d like to stay there.”

Sticking with welterweight, Koreshkov knew it was going to be tough to get another title shot after his fight with Chidi Njokuani, but he seems to know the key to fighting for the title “It’s not about how many wins, but rather, the quality of my wins”, with that in mind, he promised the gameplan against Njokuani was to “stand and bang”. Koreshkov fulfilled his promise, against Njokuani he came out guns-blazing, giving Njokuani all he could handle on the feet before eventually taking him down and finishing him with some nasty ground and pound.

Koreshkov also got the chance to explain who he’d like to fight next, should he not get a title shot. “I don’t have any favorites, I know that there are a lot of tough fights at my weight class, but if I had to choose, I would say Rory MacDonald.” Unfortunately for Koreshkov, MacDonald is booked against his former opponent Douglas Lima, as the two are set to fight for the Bellator welterweight title in January.

A fight against MacDonald would promise fireworks as the two are known for their ruthless style. There’s a strong chance Koreshkov may get his chance against MacDonald next, as the former champion is certainly either next in line for the shot, or set to fight the loser.

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