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· On The Spot ~ Luigi Fioravanti

· Article author: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Posted on 02/03 at 02:17 AM

With 11 fights, for nine different organizations, in four countries, in less than 24 months Luigi Fioravanti may soon be changing his name from "The Italian Tank" to "The Globetrotter." The former UFC welterweight competitor continues to fight at a break-neck pace in the hopes of securing his place back in the UFC or another top organization. If January's win over Mitch Whitesel is any indicator, he is getting close.

At World Extreme Fighting 45 on January 22 Fioravanti chased down Whitesel, looking to add another stoppage to his resume. He eventually caught up with him in the second round, putting him away fairly easily. Prior to that the former Marine had won three straight and was on a steady climb back up the ladder and that much closer to retaking his reputation as one of the toughest guys in the sport.

Always a willing to chat, Fioravanti sat down after his bout with Whitesel to discuss the circumstances around his latest win and his outlook for the future with MMA Spot's Chris Dennision.

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Chris Dennison:
What was your game plan coming in to the fight? How did you think the fight went?
Luigi Fioravanti: The game plan was to finish him in the first round, by a TKO or submission. I was primarily looking for a knockout, that’s why I kept it up on the feet. I knew he was going to run from me a little bit, just pick at me a little bit. I was just trying to land some big shots in the first round.

CD: You seemed to pretty well prepared for this bout. Was that because he fought a similar strategy in his win over Mark Serkez? When you hurt him in the second round, did you feel you could end the fight at that time?
LF: Yeah. But he was a really tough guy. He had good defense. He covered up really well. I was a lot faster than him. I’m a lot faster than Mark too. Mark is a buddy of mine. I was actually trying to get a little redemption for Mark.

He actually quit when I was on top of him at the end of the second round. He kind of told me he was going to tap to strikes. So that’s why to pick up the pace at the end there, just to finish it off there, in case he was going to give up. And that’s exactly what he did. He gave up.

CD: He told you he was going to tap to strikes?
LF: Yeah. He pretty much told me that.

CD: When did he tell you that?
LF: As soon as my corner told me we had 30 seconds left, I started elbowing the shit out of his face. And then he was like, 'Man I’m gonna tap. I’ll tap to strikes.' And I just stopped for a minute to listen, and was like, 'Did this guy just tell me what he told me?' And then I was like, 'Fuck that. I’m just gonna elbow his face.' Sorry about the cursing, but I was like, 'Forget that, I’m just gonna elbow his face until I cut him or the ref stops it.' So I went to knee-on-belly and just started hitting him. Then he just tapped. He said he was sick, so ...

CD: Given your prior opponents it could be expected, no offense to this fight, but at times you looked bored at some points. Were you bored?
LF: No. I wasn’t bored, I was just pacing myself. The thing is, he really just wouldn’t really trade with me. He was putting his hands out there. He hit me with one jab. One good jab. You can see just the one little lump on my eye. But that was it. He tried to throw some kicks. But I think I was just a step above him.

CD: Do you think it all just comes down to your preparation?
LF: Yeah, my trainer Bobby Robare, he’s from Mejiro Gym, which is a famous gym in Holland. He put together a good game plan. I hit him with a right to the body, and a left hook to the head. I caught him with one big shot. I pretty much connected with every exchange. I knew the knock out was gonna come eventually.

CD: Was this fight a tune-up for something coming up in the future?
LF: I’m basically just trying to stay busy. I’ve been fighting like every month, every two months. I’m trying to get a winning streak going in order to get back into a big show. Wherever it goes, UFC, Strikeforce, anything.

CD: Any big goals for 2011?
LF: Just to keep winning. You just keep taking them one fight at a time. You can’t start looking too far ahead in the future, just one at a time. Just have fun with it.

CD: Is it your plan to stay at 185 pounds, or go back down to 170?
LF: This was my fourth fight at 185. I have only one loss at 185, that was Chris Leben. That was my first fight in the UFC. I have fought guys bigger than me. I seem to do well against guys a lot bigger than me. I just don’t cut a lot of weight to make 185 pounds. So I think when I was going down to 170, I was cutting 20 to 25 pounds and it really took a toll on my body. My brain as well.

CD: Do you feel you have an advantage in quickness at 185, rather than 170?
LF: I’m quick at either weight class. Definitely at 185 I’m a lot quicker. The problem is, you start getting in there with some sharks. The bigger guys—there was a guy in there earlier, the guy that knocked out Babcock. The guy’s just an athlete. He’s a big guy, fast, lean, great wrestler. A guy like that you just have put in more preparation, maybe put on some more muscle.

CD: Would you drop back down to 170 if you got back in a big show?
LF: Yeah. I would drop back down to 170 if given the right opportunity, the right money.

CD: Do you have your next fight coming up? What’s up next for your career?
LF: My next fight is March 5 in Buffalo, N.Y. with Raging Wolf Promotions. I’ll be fighting Mike Guerin. He’s from upstate New York. He’s a tough guy, good wrestler. It will be a test for me, for sure. So I’m looking forward to testing myself.

CD: Do you have any sponsors or people you’d like to thank?
LF: I want to think American Top Team, Mejiro Gym, MMA Overload, MMA Solutions Global, and Raging Wolf Promotions.


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