An impressive number of media, reporters and MMA fans gathered today at the FFC 28 press conference ahead of the FFC 28 spectacle that is to take place this Saturday in Athens, Greece.
FFC President Orsat Zovko and official FFC partner for Greece, Christos Papangiotou were joined on stage by as many as eight fighters that will step into the FFC ring tomorrow – Robin Van Roosmalen, Darko Stoši?, Samo Petje, Meletis Kakoubavas, Andreas Michailidis, Stavros Grigorakakis, Stamatis Moroulis and Giannis Michalopoulos, as they fielded questions from the press and fans.
Zovko: Atmosphere at FFC in Athens was one of the best ever. That's why we're back!
The press conference was opened by Orsat Zovko who revealed why FFC came back to the Greek capital.
„We held a great event last year in Athens and the atmosphere was one of the best ever. I think the atmosphere is really important. And it's mostly up to the matches. This time we came up with even better fight card with the best Greece has to offer. We already plan to come back this fall,“ said Zovko and added that Christos Papanagiotou cooperated with FFC on the last event which is why this time he became the official FFC partner for Greece.
Van Roosmalen: Now i'm a real MMA fighter
As expected, kickboxing superstar and former Glory champ in two divisions Robin Van Roosmalen attracted the most attention and interest.
„Last year when I fought in my first MMA match, I was still a kickboxer and I knew how to take down an opponent. This time I'm a real MMA fighter, I improved in every aspect of the game and I think I will surprise everybody. Do I think I will win? If I did not think I will win, I would stay home,“ said the Dutch fighter.
Stoši?: The match will definitely be a good one
A year after he was supposed to fight Emil Zahariev in Athens for number one contender spot, Darko Stoši? returned to the Greek capital. This time he is an FFC champ with six-wins streak and the Bulgarian fighter will be the contender in this upcoming bout.
„First of all, I'm happy I'm back in Athens. Unfortunately, last year the match between Emil and me got cancelled. This year it will finally happen. Emil is an excellent fighter and I have nothing bad to say about him. But last year I was less experienced, I was contender and now I'm the champ. I already defended my belt and I'm definitely more experienced. I see that fight fans in Greece love MMA. I'm especially glad because of that. It will definitely be a good match,“ said Serbian KO artist,
Petje to Kakoubavas: I'm better and I will prove that tomorrow, that was a mistake!
The match that will probably attract the most attention and interest is the biggest rematch in the history of the FFC – the one between Samo Petje and Meletis Kakoubavas. The Greek fighter brutally KO'ed Petje last year, won the belt and shocked the fans. The rematch is to take place exactly a year later...
„I want to thank the FFC for this opportunity to fight Kakoubavas again after my defeat last year. My preps were fine just like every time before. I trained with my coach Jure Cesar and with the coach of the famous Petrosyan brothers. Last year I did a huge mistake, it was a good lesson and tomorrow I will prove I’m better than Meletis and that this defeat last year was just a mistake,“ said Petje and added:
„I decided to stay out of the ring for seven months fret that but I continued training. Together with my coaches I came up with a new game plan never to repeat the same mistake again. Tomorrow you will see better and more experienced version of me. In those nine minutes I will prove I'm better and I don't care about anything outside of that ring.“
But his opponent Meletis Kakoubavas thinks the opposite.
„When you make a mistake, you have to pay for it. I had a serious injury last year but now I’m fine. This time I would like to knock him out again right away, but I will not stop punching until the match ends. I missed fighting, I'm coming back after seven months and I’m totally ready.“
Moreover, you can read brief statements of other fighters below.
Stamatis Moroulis: I want to thank the FFC. I will do my best and I will make it short – You will see tomorrow.
Stavros Grigorakakis: I haven’t fought in two years, this is my comeback and I'm hungry,. I will do my best and I promise it will be a good fight.
Alexandros Papadimitriou: I want to thank the FFC and Mr. Papangiotou for this opportunity. I'm see myself as the only tough opponent here, you will see that tomorrow.
Giannis Michalopoulos: I will do my best tomorrow because I know my opponent is tough. I improved in MMA and I hope I will be better.
FFC 28: Athens: Greece vs. Rest of the World
Robin Van Roosmalen (NED) 69.3kg vs. Risto Dimitrov (FYROM) 68.0kg -69kg
Darko Stoši? (SER) 105.5kg vs. Emil Zahariev (BUL) 130.0kg, HW – title match
Filip Peji? (CRO) 68.4kg vs. Alexis Savvidis (GRE) 67.7kg, -68kg
Stamatis Moroulis (GRE) 83.0kg vs. Edgar Santos (BRA) 84.2kg, -82kg
Andreas Michailidis (GRE) 84.5kg vs. Bor?e Talevski (FYROM) 84.5kg, -84kg
Alexandros Papadimitriou (GRE) 69.9kg vs. Giannis Michalopoulos (GRE) 69.5kg, -70kg
Samo Petje (SLO) 71.5kg vs. Meletis Kakoubavas (GRE) 71.3kg, -72kg
Eyevan Danenberg (NED) 76.8kg vs. Ivan Bili? (CRO) 77.4kg, -77kg – title match
Denis Marjanovi? (CRO) 85.4kg vs. Andi Vrta?i? (CRO) 85.3kg, -85kg – title match
Stavros Grigorakakis (GRE) 120.0kg vs. Tomislav ?ikoti? (CRO) 107.5kg, HW
Marios Blanas (GRE) 82.3kg vs. Giannis Fezoulai (ALB) 83.6kg, -85kg
Nikos Hysen (GRE) 66.5kg vs. Zahid Zairov (RUS) 67.3kg, -67kg