The fight cards keep coming in hot from the UFC’s Apex Centre in Las Vegas. This Saturday we will see a card headlined by the veteran Alistair Overeem and the Brazilian Augusto Sakai.
Bartosz Fabiński (15-3) makes his second walk to the octagon during the global pandemic on Saturday. Fabiński recently bounced back from his first loss in four years after defeating Darren Stewart at Cage Warriors 113. Due to travel restrictions, the two UFC athletes fought on Cage Warriors in Manchester. Previously, the Polish native had shown his sheer will, grit, and determination to take opponents to the final bell. The Butcher has also proven to be a tough man to take out inside the cage.
André Muniz (19-4) has been unstoppable since 2017, building himself an impressive five-fight winning streak. Muniz competed twice on Dana White’s Contender Series. Once in 2017, and again in 2018. The Brazilian successfully defeated Bruno Assis and Taylor Johnson, which was followed by a UFC contract. The end of 2019 saw Muniz make his official debut under the UFC, and he came away victorious with a unanimous decision win over Antônio Arroyo.
What has life been like for you inside and outside the octagon during this global pandemic? It’s a mind-numbing time for many fighters with restrictions on training and much more. Have you coped well with it?
Fabiński – “April and May was a challenging time because of all restrictions worldwide. Thankfully, during the summer, I’ve been able to train as normal.”
Talk to me on what life’s like in Poland in terms of gyms being opened or closed. How much time have you really had to prepare for this bout under the circumstances or would you have liked more time to focus and get a proper camp in?
Fabiński – “Gyms across Poland right now are currently opened, so I’ve prepared for this upcoming event as usual.”
What’s it like having guys such as Jan Blachowicz in the gym and on your team? How much has Jan influenced and helped you since progressing in your career?
Fabiński – “Jan has been my teammate since day one. So he has been around my whole career. Not only Jan, but we have many more great fighters in our gym in Poland, and we’re all helping each other.”
You recently fought and defeated Darren Stewart when the coronavirus first started to cause issues. What did that win mean to you as Stewart is regarded as a top guy in the division?
Fabiński – “I’m extremely happy. Especially because I fought in a higher division, but I have so much respect for Darren.”
Saturday night marks your sixth bout under the UFC. How proud does it make you to have the opportunity to compete in the biggest organisation in the world and fly that flag for Poland?
Fabiński – “I’m very proud that I can represent my country on such a big stage.”
You previously fought Darren Stewart with no fans in attendance. You’ve been through the experience with fighting in an empty arena before. Do you feel this gives you a mental advantage over your opponent Muniz, who has yet to experience that? And what was your experience like in Manchester with no fans?
Fabiński – “It’s great to fight with a venue full of fans, but when those cage doors are closed, everything suddenly doesn’t matter.”
How much time have you and your coaches had to study the game of Andre Muniz? Where do you feel he can cause you problems, and stylistically, how do you view the matchup as a whole?
Fabiński – “He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so obviously he is very dangerous on the ground, but I’m dangerous on that side of the game too.”
Muniz is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, two being on the contender series, and one being his official UFC debut. Are these things you pay attention to as his opponent? Or are you not one to look into his previous matchups?
Fabiński – “It means nothing to me. Records and win streaks don’t help you in a fight.”
Lastly, can I have an official fight prediction from you or how you visualize the bout playing out?
Fabiński – “Like always, I’ve prepared for three hard rounds and I expect nothing less from Muniz.”
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