«The fight against Bigfoot Silva is a great challenge»

"The fight against Bigfoot Silva is a great challenge"

The Russian MMA fighter, who doesn't know what 'defeat' means, Ivan Shtyrkov (7-0) will have his next fight in Yekaterinburg (Russia) on November, 18. Russian fighter will meet with the famous Brazilian Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva (19-10-1). The Shtyrkov-Silva bout will be the MMA part of the fighting show held by the promotion company Titov Boxing Promotions, where the same night 7 boxing bouts will take place. The event will start at 17:00 local time at sports arena “DIVS”.

Ivan Shtyrkov told us how he is preparing for the bout against such a fearful rival as Antonio Silva, evaluated the importance of the forthcoming fight and his motivation, and also highlighted some aspects of fighters’ mentality and psychological mood.

How did you react to the notice that you will fight with Antonio Silva on November,18?

The notice about the bout with Antonio Silva I perceived with the full responsibility and seriousness, also I was quite surprised.

You have probably seen the Brazilian fighting – how do you evaluate his current level and what do you think about his strengths and weaknesses?

Of course I saw fights with him, as the whole world did. I think he is a versatile fighter and he can deliver a battle in any fight aspect – in wrestling and in stance.

How are you preparing for the fight against Bigfoot? Have you found sparring partners who are similar to Silva in size and style?

The preparation goes according to plan; talking about sparring partners similar to my rival – there is not so many similar to him people in the world, not to mention Yekaterinburg, and especially those, who can participate in sparrings. In general, there are some small problems with this.

What do you think- the fact that your rival lost the previous 3 fight ahead of time could have affected his psychological state before the bout with you?

Talking about the last defeats of my rival I can say that this whether could have motivated him to prepare hard for the bout or demoralized him and made him give up.

What will you expect from the Brazilian in the upcoming fight and how will you act?

What will I expect? Everything, from the aggressive manner of fighting and tactics aimed to end the bout ahead of time, to well-planned and protracted bout.

Will the fact that you will fight against the person you won Fedor Emelianenko be an additional motivation for you?

Will the fact that Antonio Silva won Fedor Emelianenko be the additional motivation for me? This fact only proves that my opponent is a high-class fighter and this is enough for me to be motivated.

Do you have a desire to return the favor to ‘Bigfoot’ for the ‘Last Emperor’?

‘Returning a favor’ is out of my line. But I psych myself to the victory.

All your previous fights you won ahead of time, this time will you try to finish the fight before the judge’ decision or are you ready for all 3 rounds?

I think each fighter wants to end up the bout ahead of time, but prepares one-self to fight until the end. I am preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. The fight will show whether I’ll be ready.

In general, how important for you is the fight against ‘Bigfoot’ and what should the audience expect from you on November 18?

I feel the great responsibility before the people who believe in me and are willing me to win. This fight is a great challenge which I have to deal with in order to move forward.

Do you prefer to work in par terre position or in stance? Or do you feel equally comfortable in both positions?

I feel more comfortable in wrestling, no matter in which position I am, than in striking technique, because originally I am a sambo fighter. The striking technique is a new world for me and I am learning it with the same interest as I learned wrestling once.

Do you agree with the idea that MMA fighters does not care that much about ‘zero’ in the ‘defeat’ column than, for example, professional boxers?

Does someone really think like this? I hear this thought for the first time, but, in my opinion, that the specific nature of these 2 sports is different from one another. Nor a boxer, neither a MMA fighter wants to lose, this is for sure. And the ranking is a different story.

Are you afraid to lose? Do you feel the pressure of the fact that you need to win each fight and the victory have to be solid?

The fear to lose, the fear to be unworthy, the fear to disappoint my friends and relatives, the fear to surrender – this is what motivates me. But you need to manage your fear and use it, make it your ally, your strength. The fear to lose motivates to become on the daily basis better, stronger. Only a fool is not afraid. There is no shame in losing, all sport is based on the fact that someone wins and becomes a champion and the other loses and remains in the second place. It is just about the way you lost and whether you’ll be able to stand up and become better. My fear is my friend, no matter how weird it may sound.

Do you follow the state of affairs in the heavyweight division in MMA? With whom of current fighters would you like to meet in a bout?

I do not follow the state of affairs, but I am watching the fights, learning the necessary information from them. There is no fighter in particular against whom I would like to fight, but, maybe, in the nearest future there will be one.

How did you get to Titov Boxing Promotions and how is it working with this company taking into account that its main field is professional boxing?

I began to work with Titov Boxing Promotions starting with my first fight. Aleksey was the one who offered me the first and all the subsequent fights. We have a trust-based relationships and I am satisfied about our work together and the result. The fact that the professional box is their main field does not worry me. I hope that we will maintain the same relationships and the same cooperation for a long time.

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