On Saturday, Dec. 29, Daniel Skvor will face Martin Zawada in a light heavyweight bout at OKTAGON 51, which takes place live from the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.
Jake Foley of Combat Press recently interviewed the light heavyweight title contender. Skvor talks about his upcoming fight against Zawada, his transition from kickboxing to MMA, the OKTAGON light heavyweight division, and more.
As always, feel free to comment below or send feedback about the interview to @JFoMMATalk or @CombatPress on Twitter.
Now that you’re nine professional fights into your MMA career, what would you say has been the biggest surprise and/or struggle of transitioning from kickboxing to MMA?
MMA is a completely different sport. I was surprised by the big difference in standing. MMA striking is different, and you don’t have big gloves as a block.
Last time out, you secured your first professional submission win. Did that finish feel like a major accomplishment in your career, as you showed fans you are more than just a high-level striker?
It was a submission in standing, so I don’t count it that much, but I was satisfied.
Following your two first-round losses, what was the most important aspect of getting back in the win column? Was it physical, mental, or spiritual?
It was more mental. I wasn’t a worse fighter, but sometimes things don’t go as planned.
On Dec. 29, you return to action against Martin Zawada. What were your thoughts when you got offered this fight, and what do you expect from Zawada?
Zawada is a tough fighter, he puts on a show for people and doesn’t want to cuddle on the ground. I’m a fan of such fighters and it’s an honor to fight him. It’s going to be a tough fight.
You’ve been more active than Zawada by a wide margin. He’s fought three times since the beginning of 2021, and you’ve fought nine times in that same time frame. Do you think this will play a factor in your upcoming fight?
We are active fighters all our lives. We are real fighters, and being out of action for a while doesn’t matter. Zawada is experienced and knows what he’s getting into.
What is your official prediction for the fight against Zawada? When and how do you think you’ll defeat him?
I don’t like these big-mouthed conjectures, but I’ll win.
With a win against Zawada, where do you think you’ll be in the OKTAGON light heavyweight title picture? Do you think you’ll be ranked in the top five?
I don’t understand the scoring of the OKTAGON ranking. It’s different every time, so I don’t know.
What are your thoughts on the reigning light heavyweight king Karlos Vemola? How much success do you think you’d have in a future title fight against him?
Karlos is a tank, but he is my friend and sparring partner. He’s on my team. We won’t fight together. But, in truth, I’m an MMA hobbyist. He’s a pro.
What are your predictions for Vemola’s next two fights – middleweight title fight against Samuel Kristofic and a light heavyweight title defense against Attila Vegh?
I think he will beat Samuel. It will be the match of his life with Attila.
Now, to focus back on your career, do you have any interest in returning to kickboxing or boxing? Or, are you locked in on MMA for the remainder of your career?
I enjoy MMA, and it gives me a new charge. I would like to fight in kickboxing, but I have no offers. GLORY promised me a match in my weight class of 95 kg, but, with COVID, it ended. Before that, I fought nonsense heavyweight.
I know you have plenty of gas left in the tank, but have you ever considered a specific age you would want to retire? For example, some fighters say they don’t want to fight past 45 years old.
It depends on how I feel and how much I enjoy it. I can’t say a specific number, but I don’t want to force myself into the match.
Final question, what message do you want to send in your upcoming fight at OKTAGON 51?
Watch the fight. We sure won’t be sniffing each other’s asses on the ground.
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