Last Saturday in Ljubljana Final Fight Championship delivered a brilliant show that crowned a new champion and now a two-division kingpin Samo Petje. FFC lightweight champ bravely sought to fight for the welterweight belt owned by Eyevan Danenberg and he actually managed to do so. Petje thus rocked the fighting sports scene and made FFC history.
“Tough fight, good opponent, new win, new FFC belt. I have to say I enjoyed the fight. It was a big challenge and I’m happy to have such a good team. They were on my side when I needed them the most.
Few people believed in my success and this is why the win is even sweeter. Of course, that motivated me as well. Moreover, I sparred with taller and heavier opponent and I realized I was faster. That’s why I believed in myself. I know what I was getting into and I was ready for that,” said Petje.
How did it come to this match? The rumor has it that it was your idea.
“My friends motivated me when they said I do well with heavier opponents and that they might be easier prey for me than some of the fighters in my division. And then we came to this interesting idea that I could fight Danenberg whom I extremely respect as a fighter.”
What about your game plan?
“My plan was to let him attack first and to throw counter punches. Then, when he loses this explosive element, my time would come to take over the initiative. But without and open exchange, because it would be too big of a risk. He could hit me with a jab. After the match I talked to my coach and we concluded that I had this dose of reserve. I did not show as much as I could. But in the end I won and that’s what counts.”
Were you convinced you won the match when it finished?
“I was sure I would win. I believe I won the first round and my coaches told me that too. In second round I landed a lot of kicks but he also had some good moments and it was tight. Ahead of the third round my coaches told me to give it all in and that I would win. And so I entered the round in that manner. In the last minutes I pushed the pace, I was more aggressive and at some point I think I heard his corner telling him to attack. And then I knew I cannot stand still and that I have to move a lot. I think I won that round very clearly and secured the win.”
How did you feel in welterweight? Did you have to drop any weight at all?
“I felt great in welter. I did not have to drop any kilos. I woke up that day with 76 hg and I ate three meals before the weigh-ins. Partially to fool Danenberg who then could not be sure if I had to drop any. I weighed 77.5 and I saw his coach was very surprised.”
What about your future plans?
“My plan is to fight in my division again and to continue to work on my career. But I would fight in welter if offered an interesting match. But now I will enjoy the win and being a two-division champ. Then we’ll see.”