“I need at least five weeks to be in good condition. And then, I have to work to my fight condition.”
Four time K-1 Grand Prix champion Erensto Hoost, also known as “Mr. Perfect,” is considered the greatest of all time in kickboxing by most of sport’s fan community. Hoost rose and shined in K-1 during the golden era of kickboxing. Both UFC and K-1 appeared in 1993, but back in 90’s, K-1 was even more popular than UFC. It was the era of Hoost’s dominance.
Mr. Perfect was so kind to speak with Combat Press writer Ruslan Navshyrvanov, and heshared some stories from the past, thoughts about present kickboxing and some perspectives for future.
RN: You were fighting during the golden era of kickboxing. Presently this sport is much less popular. What lacks to make kickboxing that popular again?
EH: I think that when K-1 came up it was very special for everybody. It was something new – the tournament idea. Fighters got more and more famous. I think it was a different time. Nowadays, people have kind of gotten used to it – to good fights, to good events. I think it became more normal. I don’t think it is because of the fighters. There are still very good fighters. So that shouldn’t be a problem, in my opinion.
RN: Do you still follow professional kickboxing and watch the fights?
EH: Yes, I follow it. Sometimes I watch. When I get invited to GLORY events in Holland, I will go. When I am not invited, I don’t go, because I haven’t paid for tickets for about 30 years. But generally I follow kickboxing for sure.
RN: Presetly we can name two leading world leagues of kickboxing – GLORY Kickboxing and ONE Championship. Which one is better for you and why?
EH: Well, I had a fighter, who fought and performed very good. And then, few years ago, we had a choice. GLORY came to him, and ONE FC came to him. And he chose himself to go to ONE FC. He is a welterweight, and he got a four-year contract, with at least three fights a year. It all sounded very good. And then, after three or four fights, they didn’t have enough fighters in this weight category. That was very disappointing. Apparently, ONE FC cannot fill their weight categories with enough fighters. So, later, I looked back on GLORY, as they have more fighters. But, I think they were a little offended, as they didn’t take the fighter again.
RN: I wanted to ask you about the story with your Instagram page. You are one of the greatest of all time in kickboxing, but you were unable to confirm your page as an official account for a while. And then, Joe Rogan helped you with that. Can you share the story?
EH: I wanted to get a blue tick. So, first, I got tricked by somebody who told me he was from Instagram and then kind of hijacked my page. Luckily, I have a smart son, and he could take it back for me. Than, I went back to Instagram and thought that, for the fighter I was, I could get a verification easily. But then, they rejected me. Because they said something like, basically, they said I am not good enough. So, they offended me. A lot of other fighters, a lot of sportsmen, former MMA and K-1 champions, even not champions, they all have a verification. I was really offended. At the end, I made a post about it. And then, Joe Rogan reacted. Because I’ve known Joe for a long time, and I know he likes my fighting style. He reacted, and he said something like, “It’s insane! You’re a legend!” So, I applied to him and then Joe arranged it for me within a day. But, it was too bad for me that I couldn’t arrange it myself. It still annoys me.
RN: How long did this story continue?
EH: Well, first they rejected and said that you can apply again in so many months. Then, I did that and got rejected again. So, in total, four or five months.
RN: Last summer, after the loss to Alistair Overeem, Badr Hari decided to quit kickboxing. But after, it was discovered that Alistair used steroids, and the fight result was changed to no contest, and Badr decided to come back to GLORY. In September, at GLORY 88, he fights James McSweeney from the United Kingdom. What’s your prediction?
EH: Badr is very important for GLORY, because, after so many years, he still attracts people to the venue. I think it will decrease, because Badr loses too many fights, in my opinion. But still, people want to see him. Even you lose five, six, seven times, it doesn’t matter. As long as you are popular enough, and people buy tickets to see you, then you are welcome. And, basically, it looks like nobody complains about it. GLORY and the fans need some kind of Badr. Apparently, he is one of a kind, and he still attracts people.
RN: What’s your prediction on the fight? Will he finally get a win in GLORY?
EH: I don’t know. He lost so many fights already. I don’t know how he feels mentally about it. I mean, if I would have lost so many fights in a row, I think I would have quit. For now, I don’t think that McSweeney is the best opponent. I think Badr should win. But how does somebody feel, who was formerly seemed one of the best ever and now looses so many fights? I don’t know how he feels inside. It changes something in you, when you loose so many fights. But there are still enough people who wanna see this fight.
RN: Back in 2014, you had your last exhibition fight. Would you agree to another one?
EH: Basically, no, because I am too old for that. But, on the other hand, money talks. If some promoter offers me an interesting amount…
RN: How many figures should it consist of?
EH: I think, six figures. Then I would think about it and take it seriously. I would take at least three months to prepare. Because I need at least five weeks to be in good condition. And then I have to work to my fight condition. But I don’t expect somebody to come with an offer.
RN: Maybe, Jake Paul or some other blogger would like to challenge you?
EH: Yeah, if it is a good challenge, and if it is financially interesting, I would think about it.
RN: For so many kickboxing fans, you are an idol. But who are the favorite fighters of Mr. Perfect?
EH: That’s a good question! I used to like fighters from when I started. It was Rob Kaman and Lucien Carbin. I was a big fan of Lucien Carbin. I think they inspired me a lot. Right now, I don’t have real favorites. But Lucien Carbin had a big influence on me. First time when he started talking to me, it was a very special moment. Rob Kaman also was one of my favorites. I was 21, and then I had a chanсe to fight him. I came home, and I was still living with my parents. My father was the one I listened to a lot. He supported me. I just started training, after I took some time off after my fight before that. We are talking about 1987, when I had 12 fight in total. Rob was the man that moment, so it was a good opportunity to show myself. I lost on points, but I made a good impression. So, it gave me the idea that maybe I can compete on this level and it might be interesting for me. Rob Kaman wasn’t my idol, but he was someone I really looked up a lot.
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