Nearly on a daily basis, I surf the Internet and read about the enormous growth of the MMA.
Mergers and joint ventures between the various unions, new agreements with the media appear to be of the order of the day. This not only generates more televised MMA fights, but it also looks like a long cherished dream is finally going to come true; a fight against Fedor Emelianenko.
The fact that Fedor has signed with Strikeforce is not only good for the MMA, it is good for me as well.
I’ve always admired Fedor. There was a time when I didn’t want anything rather than a chance to meet him, just once. Shake his hand; take a picture with him and get a signature of course. Things sure do change, don’t they!
I still want his signature of course…. on the dotted line of a contract signing up for a fight anytime within the next year. Fedor is the number 1 and understandably the odds are in favor of Fedor.
Still, there are quite a few people who believe that I may prove to be quite a spectacular match for this superman in martial arts.
At the moment, I am busy preparing for my K-1 fight against Peter Aerts scheduled for 26th of September next. However, I have a few reservations with regard to this fight. Not because of my opponent, Peter Aerts. Peter is great guy, and I truly like him. I am reluctant though to go into the ring for another K-1 fight.
Apparently, as an MMA fighter I can only win these matches based on a knockout. After my last fight against Remi Bonjasky I had decided to not fight K-1 fights again. However, after my long absence I want to fight, even if it is K-1.
People regularly ask me why I have a preference for the MMA. I can be brief. I feel that the MMA is a more compete form within the martial arts. Where, within a K-1 fight you are continuously looking for an opening, the MMA fights simply offer more possibilities to break through and tip a fight. I personally feel, that MMA fights provides me with more of a challenge, excitement and surprise. However the fact that MMA really is my ‘thing’ doesn’t mean that I won’t gladly step into the K-1 ring.
To finally fight again simply feels good and what’s more, no less than two fights within one month!!
First the match again Aerts in Korea, and the next one during my ‘10 Year Anniversary of Golden Glory’, on the 17th of October.
I’m right on track with my training schedule. It is of importance that I do not peak to soon, and I will have to carefully listen to my body in order to avoid straining.
Unfortunately, at the time that I write this, it still isn’t clear who my opponent will be during my performance in Amsterdam. I truly prefer knowing whom I will face well in advance, as that provides you with an opportunity to adjust the training regimen accordingly.
The media often ask questions about my training methods and preparation for an upcoming fight. They want to know how I feel about my next opponent and they would love to hear, in detail, what my approach is going to be. And even though I can understand these questions to some extent, it never seizes to surprise me.
I have been able to reach this level through years and year of long and hard work, and the diligent execution of an intelligent training plan. Watching and listening to a wide variety of trainers and other martial art practitioners has been of great value as well.
My knowledge and experience at this point are my most valuable assets; I’m not likely to just go ahead give those away.
I am confident that I have a bright future to look forward to. I’m not yet thirty years old; I take good care of my body and I think I’ll still be able to learn a lot. I think I’ll be able to compete at the highest level for at least another 5 years.
This upcoming year I will mainly fight in the U.S. against hopefully spectacular opponents.
Aside from competing I also enjoy hosting seminars. These seminars are like outings to me. I truly love to travel; meeting new and interesting people, and enjoy teaching immensely.
I also regularly teach at the new Golden Glory facility in Amersfoort. The FPA. A unique gym where people from all over the globe, specialized in strength sports and martial arts, can truly give it their all. I, myself train there as well. My trainers among others are Martijn de Jong and Roberto Flamingo. Joop Kasteel can also be found at the FPA on an almost daily basis, and should I ever fight Brock Lesnar than he would be the ideal sparring partner.
But…first there is my participation in the ‘final 16’ of the K1 tournament. I owe my invitation for this Final 16 to the preferential votes of my Japanese fans.
I received an overwhelming number of preferential votes (over 14.000 ) to competing for one of the three ‘open’ places. I promise, I will not disappoint them and will fight like a lion.