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Interview: Aleksandar Ilić: “Harringer never had an opponent like me, I’m ready for every scenario”
Friday September 9, 2016— The upcoming Final Fight Championship event features a match with one of the most talented Serbian fighters – Aleksandar Ilić. On September 23 he will step into the ring with Florian Harringer, an Austrian fighter who will fight on his own turf at TipsArena.
Having in mind his previous matches, ‘The Joker’ will definitely bring additional excitement to this upcoming bout. His six win streak is enough to prove that he will do anything not to disappoint his fans.
Preps are going really well. I’ve been preparing for this match for three months now. I’m in great shape, I’m ready mentally and physically to do my FFC debut. I have no injuries and that is the most important thing. I train at Dušan Silni gym as well as in Victory gym and it’s all going really well. I have same coaches for quite some time now so we understand each other very well.
How did you ink the deal with the FFC?
We’ve been already negotiating about one match last year but I already had a match scheduled at SBC in Novi Sad. I think it was just a matter of time when it would come to this cooperation and then I got a phone call from Marko Petrak. We came to the agreement on conditions and the match very quickly. I got my contract pretty soon as well as the name of my opponent. FFC was really professional and I have only good words for them. I heard only good stuff about FFC from other Serbian fighters who already fought there.
On fighting while injured
I had tough luck last November when I broke my fist in the first round against Hungary’s Dobrai Mihaly. After four months I got green light from my doctors who said I could do this match in Germany against Iron Sadiki, but then it happen again. I broke the same bone in the first round since it obviously did not heal completely and despite the fact that doctors told me it’s impossible to break it again.
I had to go through the same hell again. No trainings, no continuity… I had to take this rehabilitation process more seriously and this time I waited for three month before punching with that fist again. But, well, I scored new wins and I was lucky to finish the matches quite rapidly. I don’t even wanna think what would happen if I had to stay in the ring and fight for two more rounds. Now it’s all OK. They examined my fist and I feel great.
Ilić leaves nothing to judges, scores all his win via stoppage
Everybody knows that I’m already physically prepared and that I never end up short of breath. I can always make it through all three rounds or as many as it takes. Stoppages just come naturally. I try to use the first mistake my opponent makes. I am very well concentrated during the match and I listen to my corner. Above all, I am not nervous at all. I simply follow my instincts like and animal that goes for a finish when it smells the blood. This is my job and this is what I do well. Moreover, the crowd prefers stoppages and KO’s better than judges’ decisions. When it comes to judges’ decision, it’s already late.
On his next opponent
My opponent comes from Austria and he will fight in front of his hometown audience. It means that he will be highly motivated and he will want to prove himself on his own turf. He will feel comfortable. I saw he competed in wrestling, BJJ, K-1 and Muay Thai. And he also does MMA. It just means that he is a complete fighter with a lot of experience.
Harringer used to finish his matches on the ground, but he never tried to avoid stand-up. In his last match he won via KO in some 30-40 seconds, meaning he is dangerous in all areas. But I think he never fought an opponent like me. I’m sure we will trade punches, but as soon as he gets it he will try to go back to his comfort zone, take me down and fight me on the ground. I work on all game aspects diligently every day. My last couple of matches were mostly in stand-up, but I was the one who imposed the tempo and style. But that does not mean I don’t take my opponents down and fight on the ground.
I am ready for every attack and every possible scenario. As always, I expect I will win and it will not go to judges’ decision, I’m telling you that!
Many say you have a bright future in this sport. What do you think about suck compliments and do you see FFC as a perfect polygon to prove yourself?
I’m not that kind of fighter who likes to talk about it. I know what I can do, I know I can accomplish everything if I want it bad enough. I’ve seen some UFC, KSW and Fight Night in Russia events as well as events of some other big promotions… Nothing in unattainable. I think the fighters from our region already proved that. Just think of Mirko Filipović, Igor Pokrajac, Goran Reljić and Bojan Veličković. They are a living proof that you can accomplish your goals if you’re obsessed and ready to sacrifice. I just love those stories.
I like getting compliments. I get messages on my Facebook, webpage and Instagram daily. Many people from Serbia and whole region already follow my career and I’m slowly getting more popular on the international level as well. People appreciate effort, talent and good matches. I try to reply to everyone and then them for the support which means a lot to me.
FFC will be a great staging ground in this stage on my career. This promotion is among 10 to 15 top promotions on the international level. Production is excellent and many people follow them. The events are broadcasted on many channels and their web-pages have many readers and followers. Croatia has some famous fighters and big fighting sports audience. I think we will cooperate in the future as well, when I prove myself in the matches.
Forecast on his fellow countryman Darko Stošić’s title match?
Darko and I know each other very well. We trained together for 2 or 3 years and were in the same team. I know what he can do and I helped him a lot as training and sparring partner.
When it comes to his match, I think this is a great opportunity for him to take the belt. Staring is excellent and has a lot of experience. He can take a lot of beating and his conditioning is great so he can make it through all three rounds. Besides, I believe Darko is on the rise. He is young and he in on the winning streak. He is getting better and better match after match and it will not be easy for Staring. I know he is hungry and I hope we will both score great wins.
FFC 26 is to take place September 23 in Linz, Austria. Watch FFC 26 live on Fight Channel or on www.fightchanneltv.com
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