Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Johnathan Ivey’s Cage Fighting Championships 9: The Return will take place on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Middle Tennessee Expo in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Claudiu Maniu is making his debut in MMA and he hasn’t chosen a easy opponent. Maniu is fighting the experienced MMA veteran Ryan Driskill at CFC 9 on March 6th in Murfreesboro Tennessee! Maniu is fighting out of Legion’s Jiu-Jitsu in Hendersonville Tennessee.
Check out the conversation Claudiu had with CEO of FightBook MMA Roberto Villa below. He talks about his upcoming fight and more.
Roberto: Claudiu it is great to get to talk with you just a week before your big fight in the CFC on March 6th in Murfreesboro Tennessee. How has training been going for this fight and are you starting to step down the training a little so your peaking on March 6th?
Claudiu: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, it’s a pleasure! Training has been going well, couldn’t really ask for more, no injuries, no setbacks at all. The training has been tapered down this week is more for rest and recuperation. But the hard work is done!
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Roberto: This fight is your debut into the sport of MMA and it’s with the fastest growing MMA organization in Tennessee. Have you always had interest in MMA or has it just became a recent interest of yours?
Claudiu: So as far as martial arts goes, I started fairly young. My father was on the Judo Olympic team in Romanian so the love carried over! Maybe 6-7 years old. I continued with karate and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu until I got into middle school, at that point I found wrestling and wrestled all the way up through high school. That’s when I was introduced to MMA around 18 years old. I trained for a couple of years and then life took me into a different direction up until 2017 when I decided that the fire for martial arts wasn’t going to go down anytime soon and I didn’t want to regret not pursuing my passion. Regret is worse than failure.
Roberto: You are coming from a gym (Legion’s Jiu-Jitsu in Hendersonville Tennessee) that has produced CFC champions Kyle Lee and Donovan Salvato! Does that give you confidence that your training at the right place to prepare you for your debut?
Claudiu: I have an awesome team of killers I work with so I do have confidence in my training. Donnie and Kyle are great training partners as well as the rest of the team. We all push each other to breaking points and as the saying goes “iron sharpens iron.”
Roberto: Is there a well-known fighter that has a fighting style similar to the one you want to display on March 6th? Whose fight style do you think you’ll resemble the most?
Claudiu: That’s tough question, I don’t really have a solid answer for that. I don’t have a set style, I’m an opportunist. If an opponent give me the window to finish I’m gonna take it.
Roberto: Your opponent on March 6th is Ryan Driskill who has fought in CFC 1 and CFC 3, have you had a chance to watch those fights, and what did you think of his performances? Did you see anything that you think might help you in your fight with Driskill?
Claudiu: Haha, of course I’ve watched his fights! Not just his CFC fights but all of his fights that were in the video. Driskill is a game opponent and I wouldn’t want anything less. Kids got heart and experience, mad respect. I’ve not only watched his videos but we’ve put together a game plan to take home the Dub. I’m not here for anything else. We’re modern-day gladiators and I’m here to give people entertainment. March 6th, we BITE DOWN AND BANG!
Roberto: Thank you Claudiu for taking the time to talk with us. Is there anyone you would want to thank or show some love to before we go?
Claudiu: Oh man so many people! I’d like to thank the whole Legion fight team, Logan Nash, Kyle Lee, Jaysen Baker, Sean Patton, Roscoe, Donnie, Zack Lozano, basically the whole legion team! Also shout to Jason Herring for driving from KY to work with me and Langston Stevenson, and Jason Matherly for letting me cross train at the Academy, and Tyler Edwards for letting train at Guardian as well. Also all my family and friends that support me, I couldn’t do it without you guys.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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