XFN 11 IMPRESSIONS: Vémola won for the present, Kincl won for the future

Gala evening XFN 11 at O2 arena in Prague held the attention of martial arts fans in the countries of both river banks of Morava river. It was not only thanks to the fact that there were both Czech and Slovak fighters, but the people didn´t want to miss an extraordinary fight. In the leading fight of the evening, two great rivals stood against each other – Karlos Vémola and Patrik Kincl. What did the fight look like from our perspective?

From the first moment, it was clear that if the fight had really taken place, it would have attracted great attention. Later, when everything was already confirmed, both guys put their minds mainly into insulting and embarrassing the opposite side. As we are watching the situation amongst the fans, we can say that Karlos Vémola had a better trash talk score. Anyway, he is more experienced in these things and Patrik really doesn´t fit into this position.

The nervousness, even during the formation, was so big you could have cut it with a knife, and when both guys came into the new cage, which was prepared for this event by the XFN organisation, the fans scene broke into two halves. One applauded for Kincl, the second one for Vémola. The fighters themselves tried to look “all right”, but the body language didn´t lie and one could sense how nervous they were before the fight. That is no shame – it just proves how much the fight mattered to them! When the referee called upon the fighters to shake hands before the fight, both walked to their corners with cold faces.

The fight began, one could feel carefulness, Kincl took advantage of the mentioned new cage, which was spatially more useful for his fighting style. It seemed that he was going to try to exhaust Karlos with running. Just at that moment, Terminátor brought his approved game, when he tried to put his opponent down on the ground.  Huge Vémola´s physical dominance was enormous. Try to put yourselves in Patrik´s place – physically stronger opponent gets you right when he wanted to. It was certainly a mental burden too, however, Kincl handled it up to the mark. His defence was admirable and we all know, how strong Karlos´s ground weapons are. He tried it against Patrik in all the possible ways, but he couldn´t beat him! He gained the first round for himself though and (as it later turned out) a key incident occurred. Kincl couldn´t see anything with one eye after one of the blows.

The round number two went in the lead of Karlos´s bulldog strength, by which he put Kincl down again and he stayed in the defence. He was well prepared for that. However, Vémola was sure that if he had won the second round too and had held the third one, he would have won anyway. He brilliantly assimilated his strategy to it, and even though he wanted to finish Patrik, he only did it indirectly – he limited his opportunities to win in the third round.

Kincl entered right there with a definite task – to defeat Karlos before the limit. Patrik succeeded in a few really amazing hits, it seemed like Vémola had great stability problems for a while and Kincl´s fan club could feel the same. A roaring hall at the fight of two home fighters? It was impossible a few years ago! It seemed that Patrik Kincl would finish and he would try something impossible – defeating Vémola. Therein Karlos presented a terrific takedown when Patrik was literally flying. Fantastic! Terminator was dominating on the ground again and he seduced Kincl´s attempts to come back in the game. He finally mastered Vémola by the arbitrator´s decision at the rate of 3:0.

Kincl surprised in an interview after the fight. He paid a tribute to Karlos, which amazed Karlos himself. He said he will fight under XFN, as the UFC is still too high for him. Vémola asked for a foreign opponent, who would help him on his way to such an organisation. How do we evaluate the fight then?

Vémola won for the present, as this victory over a top Europe fighter (who Kincl undoubtedly is) won´t miss the attention of the UFC. In the best case, Karlos could really reach his goal, which is a comeback to this organisation. Karlos stated that Patrik Kincl could incredibly motivate him. As we could see, Karlos tried to fight in a stand, his opponent needed to cope with unpleasant kicks too. Vémola was surely lifted by the preparation for this match more than by the result itself!

Patrik won for the future though. It is not said in vain that every loss will make one stronger. Kincl realised this right after the fight when he presented extremely honest words. The size of the champion is not only in facing the victory but also in the ability to accept a loss. And Kincl accepted it like a real champion.

Whether you followed Vémola or Kincl, the fight must have met your expectations. Top-level strategic Vémola´s performance, Kincl´s fearlessness, physical strength and steadiness of both fighters made this match extraordinary. On Thursday everybody won at O2 arena – Vémola, Kincl, XFN, fans and especially sport!

A recording of the main XFN 11 duel, in which there were Karlos Vémola and Patrik Kincl standing against each other!

Source of photos: CzechFighters.cz/Lenka Bartáková, XFN

Veronika Žídková, the first cutwoman on the MMA scene

„I am pushed forward mostly by those who do not trust me or by those who underestimate me.“

After a successful debut at Oktagon 5 in Ostrava, Veronika officially became a part of Alpha Cutman Team (ACT) and the first woman with this position in the Czech and Slovak MMA. Is she going to weather out the hard (predominantly) men´s world? Is she going to withstand the look at wounds with exposed bones or the blood lakes which sometimes flow out of the cage? In today’s interview, you are going to find out whether she is just a fragile girl, as it might seem at first sight, or an experienced health-care provider.

Martial arts as the man´s privilege is long gone. We can see women in a ring, in a cage, as well as on a mattress throughout the levels and the weight divisions in our countries too. What impression does it have on you?  Shouldn´t they leave these “brawls” rather for men?

I believe in equality. Why should a woman not be allowed to do what a man does? If she feels like doing that physically and it fulfills her, she should then feel free to compete even in the MMA. The important thing is to have a good feeling about what you do.

You, like the most of Alpha Cutman Team, work in healthcare. Of course, you are not a normal nurse as known by many. What are your job activities?

Since I graduated from the high school, I have been working on the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Medicare (known as ARO) in a hospital in Frýdek-Místek. After 3 years of experience, I enrolled in a specialization in anaesthesiology, resuscitation and intensive care in Brno. In 2013, I started driving a rescue service, which I had always wanted a lot. My daughter was born four years ago but I returned to work when she was 6 months old. One can say that I am a workaholic and my work is my hobby at the same time. When I am at home with the little one, I am an “exemplary” mummy, and at work, I am a lunatic who loves adrenaline. Except for ARO and the rescue service, I sometimes work in the ambulance for the treatment of chronic pain. In the hospital, I and my colleagues teach the employees of first aid help and resuscitation.

Veronika Žídková s dcerou.
Veronika Žídková with her daughter.
You have a very varied life. What makes you move forward?

I do most of the things mainly for myself and for my good feeling but I am pushed forward mainly by those who do not trust me and underestimate me. That is my driver.

Do you still have some free time in this extreme workload? How do you like to spend it?

There is certainly some time to rest, and then we go to the mountains, for a walk through the city, or for example, we go swimming with the daughter. I also like to relax while working in the garden and drinking some good wine with my friends.

Mám ráda sport a adrenalin.
I like sport and adrenaline.
You already had your unofficial cutwoman premiere in Ostrava at Oktagon 5. What is it like to know that there are several thousands of people watching you at work? Did you feel nervous, when you came into the cage to treat the fighters for the first time?

I was definitely not nervous. The worst thing for me was to handle the first fighter. The nervousness faded away afterward. When nursing in public or inside the cage, I concentrate only on the specific injury and I do not care about the surroundings much. I do not notice cameras nor photographers at that moment.

You are the first woman on Czech-Slovak MMA scene at the position of a cutman, or better a cutwoman. How did you get to Alpha Cutman Team?

I would say that it was rather a coincidence. I have known the people from the ACT for a few years mainly from work. They know that I like action and challenge. Consequently, when they first invited me to Oktagon 5, I didn´t think too long. The only thing I was worried about was not to shame them, not to break the rules of the match or something like that.

17. 03. 2018 Oktagon 5, Alpha Cutman Team Veronika a Bobesh
17/03/2018 Oktagon 5, Alpha Cutman Team Veronika and Bobesh

The editors figurekeeper.com are thankful for the interview and we wish you a lot of successful gala evenings.

We asked two personalities from the MMA world about their opinion too.

What does Ondřej Novotný think about the new reinforcement of ACT? 

It doesn´t matter whether it is a woman or a man. What matters is, how well they do their job. And Alpha Cutman Team secures their job on a professional level. A woman, of course, adds in an interesting energy and bigger attractivity, but I would not look at it as something strange.

One of the first fighters that Veronika treated was also Jan Široký. What is his sight of a woman in a cutman position?

If she is well versed in what she does, she´s got no problem putting the petroleum jelly on a wound and she does not get sick, she is certainly going to be of benefit to MMA. A lot of fighters will surely welcome treatment from the opposite sex (laughter).

17. 03. 2018 Oktagon 5, Veronika před klecí s Jan Široký
17. 03. 2018 Oktagon 5, Veronika in front of the cage Jan Široký

Source of photos: Facebook Veronika Žídková, Facebook Alpha Cutman Team

Kareš confirmed the establishment of doping tests in the XFN in 2019!

The XFN promoter Petr Kareš confirmed the organisation´s intention to establish doping tests for the next year. This topic has been extremely up-to-date in recent days because Patrik Kincl proposed these measures before the upcoming match with Karlos Vémola. The biggest Czech organisation plans to carry out a complex programme according to the foreign MMA leagues in the long term.

The discussion on doping in MMA and its elimination has begun at the instigation of Patrik Kincl, who confronted his rival Vémola, within a scope of juicy words battle, requesting these tests. It has already been known for a long time that XFN plans to adopt the necessary action to reveal the use of prohibited substances by the course of foreign organisations. Petr Kareš confirmed the information about the anti-doping programme via his Facebook. “XFN is going to impose doping tests in 2019. The education programme for the fighters is going to start this September. A meaningful programme against doping is watching sportsmen throughout the whole preparation period and it is designed to educate them, and not only to blame and to punish. The discussed urinal tests at competitions were imposed worldwide a long time ago and they are not applicable in MMA,“ the organisation promoter brought forward in his statement.

Kareš also supported his claims with the statistics of the most prestigious MMA oragnisation in the world of UFC. In 2018, the organisation has checked 2818 samples, whilst there were only 300 samples at the time of a match. Another interesting thing is that within the last 18 months they have tested also Conor McGregor 9 times, who paradoxically hasn´t had a single match under the organisation since 2016.

The fans´ and public reactions on this news were mostly positive, as it is going to be a step towards a higher quality and level of the organisation. Makhmud Muradov has also accepted the announcement with joy and he even told Petr Kareš that he was ready to be tested the following day.

Source of photos: CzechFighters.cz, XFN/Jan Jirkovský

Patrik Kincl proposes doping tests before the duel with Karlos Vémola!

XFN 11 is coming and nervousness rises! Patrik Kincl spoke to his fans via a live stream on Sunday, where there was a lot of interesting information said but the doping debate was the most captivating. The Czech fighter was the main character in a fake report, according to which he told Vémola during the stare down that he was “loaded”.  Karlos, of course, seized the opportunity the balloon went up.

However, Kincl explained how it all happened and rejected these claims. There was a video recording from the entire stare down available and it is true that the missing microphones affected the sound quality. Patrik´s original words “I am small” could easily be confused with the phonetically similar word “loaded” (in Czech) and an online sensation was alive. The authors of this report, however, acted manlike and apologized to both champions for their mistake, but Vémola expressed himself about the doping issue so much, that Kincl decided to respond too.

Stare down between Kincl and Vémola (the problematic phrase is said in the last seconds)

This is MMA! @xfightnights Karlos Vémola vs Patrik Kincl 28/06/2018 @o2arenaprague @ticketportalcz

Uverejnil používateľ Petr Kares Piatok 15. jún 2018

Patrik urged (not only Karlos but also the public) to strengthen the debate on the prohibited substances testing. “I am willing to go through the Internet and find the firms, who will be able to test us. I am in for three tests – a random one during the ongoing preparation, one before the match and one after the match.  I have absolutely no problem with it,” Kincl said. His words were supported by the promise to pay for the whole testing in case of negative results of both champions.

The 28-year-old fighter thus retrieved on his opponent his own claims, putting pressure on this proposal to be made. At the same time, he reminded that TNT (testosterone use) was allowed during Vémola´s activity in the UFC, but he said unambiguously he never wanted to blame him for some unfair practices.

This proposal can only help the level of martial arts in our countries and we will see how Karlos Vémola and the XFN organisation itself will stand up to this challenge. We also talked about the anti-doping actions with the organisation´s promoter Petr Kareš. “The XFN is working hard to establish doping tests at least in the title matches in 2019. A doping test should then take place immediately after a win,” Kareš said in an interview for our magazine.

“In general, however, the public view on the doping punishments, as a solution for the prohibited substances problem, is incorrect. It is, unfortunately, the sport itself motivating a sportsman to “take“. Today nobody is interested in the second or third place anymore, whether it is the audience or the sponsors. Everything is always focused only on the winner. Once it is again the sport that is financed and not the winners, the situation will significantly improve on its own,” the promoter and still active fighter took a think, indicating that the system was the main issue.

Will the proposal of Patrik Kincl help start certain processes in favour of the fighters, fans and the level of MMA itself in our countries? We believe it will!

A live stream recording, in which Patrik Kincl calls for doping tests!

Kincl lajf

Uverejnil používateľ Patrik Kincl Nedeľa 17. jún 2018

Source of photos: Facebook Patrik Kincl, XFN

Petr Kareš talking frankly about plans of the XFN, doping and Oktagon!

A promoter of the Czech organisation XFN Petr Kareš is up to his ears with work now. At the end of the month there is already a big event waiting for his team, which is the tournament in the O2 arena in Prague. How can he see the duel between Karlos Vémola and Patrik Kincl? Is Makhmud Muradov going to continue under the XFN? What else are they preparing this year? When is the XFN going to introduce doping controls? What is his relationship with Ondřej Novotný and Pavel Neruda from competing Oktagon? That´s what our interview was about too!

How is it going with the preparation of the XFN 11 in O2 arena? Do you feel nervous before such an important event?

The preparation is going very well. I am not nervous, we have a professional team and an excellent atmosphere in it. We are positively motivated to rewrite the Czech history of MMA again.

On social networks there are some wrangles predominating between Patrik Kincl and Karlos Vémola. As a result of that, I was wondering how can you see these two champions? What are their strengths in and out of the cage?

I am neutral, and I try to avoid judging them. My job is to be here for both equally. And it is going to stay like that after the match too. I can see both as champions now as well as afterwards.

Kincl rejected even the Bellator and the UFC in favour of the XFN. Did you know about these offers? Was it a pleasant surprise that Patrik decided to prefer the duel in O2 arena? 

Yes, Patrik did inform us about these offers. Of course, I was happy. In other sports the sportsmen “escape“ abroad but in MMA they are coming back home. That´s a great piece of news and an important signal for the rest of Europe, that there is something going on in our little countries.

When we look at the reactions of the public, we also meet dissatisfaction with this duel. Could a loss close the door to the UFC for one of the two?

Satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the fans isn´t evaluated by the comments on social networks but the sale of the tickets. We have noticed an exceptional interest in this match. Slavia plays against Sparta every year and nobody is amazed by that. Consequently, I do not agree at all that a win or a loss would close one´s door to the UFC. The UFC chooses its fighters with a different key than a loss in one national match.

Except others, the XFN is also going to introduce Makhmud Muradov. Are we still going to see him fighting in the organisation´s tournaments in the future?

Makhmud has always got an open door in the XFN. He is not only a great fighter, but a person too and he has been with the XFN from the very beginning. If he wishes to fight in the XFN, and I strongly believe in that, we will be very happy to create him the conditions for that. Such conditions will certainly include some good foreign rivals.

The XFN is preparing a strong end of the year with their tournament in Bratislava. Could you give us some details?

Buchinger, Klein, Čambal and other Slovak champions, who we are going to start to present to the spectators and you will be surprised. I am pretty sure that it will be the best-quality card that has ever been introduced in Slovakia.

During the Christmas time we are going to see Rytmus against Marpo. Is it true that this match was initiated by you especially?

The idea was mine and my business partners, but it was not a joke. I think it is going to be a real sport event, which will significantly help martial arts in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

What do you expect from this duel? Have they already agreed on the weight divisions too?

I expect the O2 arena to be sold out and the weight has been agreed on at 82,5 kg. They both have already been training hard and as I watch them preparing, I am really looking forward to the match.

The martial arts fans are still unpleasantly surprised by the doping cases of the foreign fighters. What attitude does the XFN have towards this issue?  Are there any controls during the preparation or before the matches?

My opinion on doping, which I gained while working in the world kickbox in times of the doping controls introduction, is probably specific. One of the free society principles is the presumption of innocence and equal status. If anybody claimed that a fighter used the prohibited substances, they would have to prove it with a positive doping test. If they weren´t able to prove it, they should stay quiet and not speculate. We can also hardly control a domestic fighter whilst his rival is preparing out of our control, for example, in Brazil or China. That would be very unfair.

The XFN is working hard to establish doping tests at least in the title matches in 2019. A doping test should then take place immediately after a win.

In general, however, the public view on the doping punishments, as a solution for the prohibited substances problem, is incorrect. It is unfortunately the sport itself motivating a sportsman to “take“. Today nobody is interested in the second or third place anymore, whether it is the audience or the sponsors. Everything is always focused only on the winner. Once it is again the sport that is financed and not the winners, the situation will significantly improve on its own.

The XFN promotes itself by a quality for the fighters too. That´s why your tournaments are also regularly accompanied by the professional cutman teams. How do you perceive their job? Is it important for the quality of a tournament to have the best pros by your side?

I believe that not only do we promote the quality service, but we provide it for the fighters too. The whole XFN team is focused on it. The XFN works with Alpha Cutman Team and we would never change it. These people work hard and often help us by suggesting how to improve our processes. There is nothing easy about the XFN floor management. Other MMA organisations tend to close the fighters´ passage area and create a huge space between the sport ground and the audience. On the contrary, I want the fighters to be as close to the audience as possible. I believe that this energy between a fighter and a spectator is one of the things that make the XFN exceptional.

In connection to your personality, we could see a little affair during the Oktagon tournament in Košice. Could you re-evaluate for us what actually happened after all the emotions are gone?

I didn´t have any emotions. I wanted to point out what happened to me with levity. I posted on my private profile where, I suppose, there are only people who are interested in me. I evaluate it as a shame for the organisation. I understand that they do not like me. I don´t help them too much, but everything should have its borders, and above all, its standard. Loss of oversight and standard is a sign of nervousness in the organisation´s management. But I understand that too.

If we did not consider this problem, how would you objectively evaluate the quality of the whole gala evening?

The OKTAGON MMA has got a quality evening production. They learned how to organise their processes on the field well. The sport quality of the fighters must be evaluated by the spectators themselves. I am irritated by the unbalanced matches though. The match of highly experienced Mack with 31 matches against a beginner with one match was a gamble with life. Likewise, Buday vs. Nasibov. Nasibov fought in the Middleweight in March, while he wasn´t even within the prescribed limit of 93 – 120 kg with his weight. Langer with 12 matches fought against a beginner with 0 matches. Pajtina shouldn´t have fought against unbeaten Kertesz neither. I liked the performance of Štrbák very much as well as the match of Krištofič and Raška. I can positively see the afternoon beginning. I think that 2500 sold tickets, for the prices that the OKTAGON MMA had for such a region, was also a success.

People are still hungry wanting an event of the XFN vs. Oktagon. Is it real to make such event happen?

There is no reason for that anymore. We no longer have to prove anything to anyone. The XFN is the biggest Czech-Slovak organisation, with the quality of its fighters, number of events as well as the spectators. The viewing of the last and the previous OKTAGON MMA in TV was 1% (0,9%, 1,1%) in Slovakia. We are already moving towards new challenges.

The XFN is talking about Oktagon with no borders, on the contrary Oktagon about the XFN. But what is your relationship with Pavel Neruda and Ondřej Novotný?

I have a positive relationship with all the people supporting the Czech-Slovak MMA. However, I still have fighter-like character and as such I fight for my team, the fighters and the organisation. But at the end of each trash-talk, people should shake hands and go on. I don´t know whether the other party will be able to do so, but I believe that one day it will.

Source of the photos: Facebook Petr Kareš, CzechFighters.cz, XFN, Instagram RytmusKing, Instagram McMarpo

Petra Částková: „Sound nervousness is certainly not harmful, but it must not paralyze you.“

Petra Částková is an important part of Czech MMA and in addition, she is a multi-functional person, that´s why we called her for an interview, where she told us about her fight at Bellator. We also asked her, how did her life road take her to the MMA or, for example, how does she make weight. What do you think, does she prefer pancakes or a hamburger? That´s what you can read about in today´s interview too!

Hello Petra, to begin with, we are going to ask you what you are currently doing and where we caught you?

Hello, I recently came back from a short holiday in the Austrian Alps. Nevertheless, MMA has been tough in the recent months, so it was fine to change gloves for a while.

Can you make a recap of your biggest life achievements to the readers who don´t know you yet?

I certainly file there the fact that I have graduated as a transport pilot – I love flying, and I hope I will do it for a living one day. And, of course, a contract with Bellator.

We would like to focus on your contract with Bellator. It has not been so long since you signed the contract with the organisation and had a match under it right after. How did your relatives react to that?

It was a very lightning operation, I think we were signing the contract with Bellator on Sunday, on Tuesday we flew to Budapest and on Friday I had a fight, so I concentrated mainly on the match but the reactions were certainly positive. I was surprised to get such a great number of supporting messages through various media.

Still, we must ask: Dream of every fighter is to get to the UFC, do you also have such ambitions or was Bellator your dream?

I am extremely satisfied with Bellator, there are a lot of amazing fighters under this organisation and part of them are former UFC stars, who left the organisations for different reasons.

How do you look back at the fight with Denise Kielholtz at Bellatore 196?

I think I can still see it the same. It was a very balanced fight, I would say that there were more clear blows with bigger damage from my side, which could, after all, be seen on the face of the opponent after the fight too. Nonetheless, Denise is a very experienced fighter, World champion in kickbox for the 6th time, former member of the national Netherland team in judo. She had known about the match for a long time and she was better prepared in matters of fitness, and I think that´s what finally decided about the result of the match.

Are you currently preparing for a particular fight?

We don´t have a specific date yet, but I guess my next fight under Bellator could take place in the half of the summer.

How many fights are you going to have by the end of 2018?

I have a contract with Bellator for 3 fights, so I would like to have at least 2 by the end of 2018.

Who actually brought you to the gym for the first time and how is it possible, that you worked all the way from Muay Thai through K1 to the MMA?

I was brought by a friend of mine for the very first time, she did Muay Thai only as a hobby, to improve her stamina and so on. I started to like it more and a goal started to form in my head that one day I will be fighting on those big gala evenings, which I liked to visit as a spectator and that I will represent the Czech Republic. Muay Thai has always been my main specialization, later I added a classic box to it, as a little girl I did judo for 7 years, in which I have a blue belt. Nevertheless, Muay Thai started to seem a little stock after all those years, training was the same all the time, and that was the reason, I think, why I nodded for the offer of André Reinders, to try coming sometimes for MMA training.

What was it like, when you came in the cage for the first time after all the combat sports you have tried?

It was amazing! It was a new challenge and I love it! I enjoy the diversity in MMA, every time there is a different type of fighter waiting for you in the cage. I can use all the sports I have done in the cage. Each can be useful somehow, like boxing for example. My hands are my main weapon.

How come are all good fighters getting together with André Reinders? What persuaded you especially to be on his team?

Was it the magic of his personality? (laughter) No, I will be serious now, André is one great trainer, but a person too. He´s got a personal, friendly and very humane attitude to his fighters, and it displays on the atmosphere of the whole team. A better team would be hard to find.

Do you have other trainers, who give you their attention during a preparation for a fight?

My head coach is, of course, André, I have a trainer of grappling next – Tomáš Pohorel, then Roman Gomola, Lenka Kardová, and Oskar Lakomý take care of my stamina and strength, they work on my boxing skills and I get a lot of attention also from Lukáš Bárta from MMA Monster, who works with me on catches and movement.

And what about your surroundings outside the gym? Who is the biggest support for you except trainers?

My biggest support is certainly my family, although they are not very happy about this sport. (laughter)

There are things that are under the control of your trainers, on the other hand, there are also things for which you are “alone” and that is mentality or making weight for the fights. How do you cope with the weight loss before fights?

I think that I found an optimal diet during the years of experience so that I do not starve and my relatives do not have to avoid me (laughter). The last kgs I loose with water, which is not too pleasant, but I take it as a necessity. What goes down fast, goes up fast too.

Pancakes or a hamburger?

A hamburger, unambiguously!

How do you feel just before you come in the octagon? Does nervousness play a big role in your case?

I am almost always nervous, I learn how to work with that though. Sound nervousness is certainly not harmful, but it must not paralyze you.

Do you feel like you have gained certain advantages, or let´s say a merit, throughout the years, which younger fighters miss?

Well sure, the experience is one of few things you cannot learn, you earn a better eye, timing with fights. On the other side, you would hardly meet someone who misses this experience in Bellator.

Did you overcome some bigger injury, that happened during a fight?

Fortunately, injuries during fights have been avoiding me by now. Anyway, the worst injury in my whole sports career was a broken knee ligament. A fight after the pause caused by the injury was definitely the worst. I fought in a higher weight category than I normally do and the whole fight was like a bad dream (laughter). I expected to come back to the ring and be where I was when I stopped, but it was a hard mistake. What doesn´t kill me, makes me stronger though, and I went to Muay Thai championships in Belarus two months after that.

Which match did you enjoy the most and you like thinking of it?

It is one of my first MMA fights, at a gala in Poland. We did a very nice fight, and despite having defeated a native Polish woman, the audience was excellent, a lot of people came to congratulate me personally to the good performance, really great atmosphere.

Do you think that the interest of women in MMA in the Czech Republic is big enough?

I would say that the growth of interest in MMA generally is great worldwide and it certainly displays in women too.

When talking about that, do you watch female MMA in the world?

Of course, I do! I am not that kind of person who has their idols and models, but I like the style of Joanna Jedrzejczyk, even though she has just lost, I think her striking is one of the best in the world.

And what about the Czech scene? Are you a fan of Karlos Vémola or Patrik Kincl?

I definitely watch the Czech MMA scene and I have my favourite in this very provoked duel too.

What countries could you visit thanks to sports that you were or are doing? Which one did you like the most and why?

The preparation in Thailand was certainly the best, especially during the winter months, it was a pleasant change, Europe Championships in Portugal was fine and the rest doesn´t belong to too exotic countries, but I am glad that I went there because I would probably never go to Belarus, for instance, just on holiday.

What is the most fundamental thing, that you have sacrificed because of MMA so far?

It is undoubtedly time, a lot of time… when you want to do sports professionally and graduate successfully or work at the same time, there is just no time for anything else.

What would we find in your playlist?

I listen to everything, it depends on my mood… I do not avoid electro music but I also like to listen to a good rock, but you wouldn´t find country or brass music there (laughter).

Tell us something about you, what your fans don´t know yet.

I sing really horrible (laughter).

If people were to remember you for something at the end of your career what would it be?

We are not going to go so far, (I hope) I have enough time until the end of my career.

Would you like to tell something to your fans and people following and supporting you?

I thank a lot to all my fans for their support and I appreciate it a lot. Follow me further, there will certainly be a lot to watch!

We are thankful to Petra Částková, for having found some time to answer the questions and for getting the fans closer to her life again. We wish her a lot of luck, no injuries, many winning fights and a will to fight!

Source of photos: Instagram archive of Petra Částková


Jiří Tkadlčík talking (not only) about his success in Brazil: „It´s a Game, not a War!“

During the strongman championship he appeared in two categories at once – up to 105 kg and the category open – and he even brought three precious metals! Impossible? No problem for Jiří Tkadlčík. This strongman from Přerov, called also “the Czech lion”, has recently managed to succeed just in such way at Arnold Classic South America. And he did fight vigorously! Not only did he carry two gold medals from the Brazil contest – winner in his category and the organizer award for a great performance – but also a silver one from the category open. Why did Jirka eventually decide to challenge much tougher champions? And what are his next plans? You´re going to find out more in today´s interview!

Jiří, what made you start working out?

It was, of course, a desire to be liked by women. I wanted to look good and attract girls by that, what I found very perfunctory after a while, and I literally fell in love with the strength and the feeling of getting better.

When did you decide to try the career of a strongman?

Around four years ago. However, I had known the strongman sport from Eurosport since I was little, I just never found it real and, honestly, I never really liked that. I wanted to keep a nice figure, and I didn´t know then that there was a category up to 105 kg. Only the last four years, I have been taking this route fully.

Jiří Tkadlčík

You have also tried other power sports, haven´t you? Why did you finally choose strongmen?

I did judo, and I played hockey for a long time too. Unfortunately, or thank God, I hurt my leg seriously and I had to stop playing hockey. Moreover, I occasionally combined MMA with my preparations for a three-point contest or boxed the heavy bag just for fun, but for now, it is not what I love. Strongman was simply a love at first sight.

You are a well-known member of the professional scene at present. Could you boast about some of your personal records?

Sure, I would like to. I am currently holding the strongman U105KG world record for the deadlift, as I lifted 385 kg in Singapore, but in training, I did 400 kg. Furthermore, I am very proud of the super yoke, where I moved 500 kg and in the Czech contest, I even defeated the 180 kg masters. Similarly, it goes with, for example, a log lift, an axle and other expressions and pressures – I try to be very complex, what I think strongman is about.

Could you get the readers closer to your training? What is it different from the common power split in?

I don´t do splits at all. My split – I train the parts that do not hurt me after a previous day. Anyway, as we talk about the days of the preparation for a competition, I do it as follows: I take 5 disciplines of the competition and I work on those in X forms during the whole two to three months of preparation basically. If there was, for instance, a deadlift, a log lift, suitcase walks, a yoke and atlas stones, I would drive them in various training sessions regularly almost every day. I just change the height of the lift or the axis thickness in the deadlift, with or without the jersey, in log lift I go max one time, I repeat, and then I do viper press, in suitcases with yoke I do sprint first, sometimes I only lift the maximum weight as far as possible, I train gripping a lot doing several other exercises… and atlas stones. I just need to learn the technique and put there as much training as possible to iron out the kinks. In the meantime, I have easier phases in the mornings, when I practise what I like – benches, bars, pull-ups… Or I go running, skating, play tennis, do a decent stretching and so on.

You have recently posted a video on YouTube, where you advise how to lift 400 kg in the deadlift. You did it yourself in practice at one of the training vlogs. Do you have any personal weight limit that you would like to overcome?

I would certainly like to overcome this limit at the competition too so that there is no doubt about the dumbbell weight anymore. Although I don´t care about the stupid comments about the plates underweight, I would like to note it down officially as a new U105KG strongmen´s world record. It is not the case of training tough. We will see where it lets me go in the future. I believe that the lift would be 400 kg, the question is, however, whether my weight would be around 105 kg. In general, the U105KG category is growing and sometimes there are some speculations, whether it will soon be U110KG as in the triathlon. So, we will see where I am going to grow up to and what I am going to achieve in the future.

Jiří Tkadlčík

Your training is undoubtedly demanding. What about your diet? There is probably no rice and chicken breasts…?

Certainly not. I would like to say one thing: Bodybuilding is an individual chapter that has its rules, its diet, training and its own world. I don´t get why the common population, who “just” wants to look and feel good, gets the diet inspiration from the unhealthiest sports discipline in this matter. Bodybuilding should not dictate the ordinary people what is and what is not a healthy diet. The differences between a healthy and an unhealthy diet of a bodybuilder are GREAT in its preparation, and eating chicken breast with rice seven times a week is really not healthy. Diet is supposed to be varied and consist of quality ingredients. I have always wanted to look good, but I am a sportsman, and I think that most sportsmen have a similar opinion.  Only in bodybuilding, 70% of it is food, in common sports it is different, the main thing there is hard work and food is just a fuel. If I were to leave my weight and training on the bodybuilders´ diet, I would kill myself. So, my opinion: Hard work first, diet next – quality, ideally homegrown, balanced. I´ve got no problem with sirloin – quality meat, vegetables, and cream. Why not?

In Brazil, you won the first place amongst the strongmen. How would you reassess the course of the competition now?

It was great! Although the competition lasted long, I am used to complications in organisation, I didn´t care much and I didn´t let it break me. The Expo was magnificent, great, I really did enjoy it. Even though there were not the best champions in the world, there were the people who were there and after my injury, it was an ideal comeback!

Jiří Tkadlčík

On top of that, shortly after it, you entered the Open category too, in which there are much tougher champions. What made you do that and what were your expectations?

Honestly – I just wanted to compete and train. My plan was to do deadlifts in the gym anyway and when I saw the horror hotel where there was no dumbbell, I said: “Let´s do the open. The weights in open are lower (it was heavier than U105KG and lighter open weights, something in between), you will burn like a paper at worst. Enjoy that nobody expects anything from you. If you fail, you will fail!” And, this approach certainly made sure that I was very relaxed, calm and enjoyed it. I competed in this way too and I got the results.

Finally, you ended up in the great second place and, moreover, you gained another gold medal from the organiser. What were your feelings like? And what about the reactions on the man who just “came to make up for his training”? 

The reactions were very positive. Brazil welcomed me well, one could have seen that they didn´t think: Jesus, he is going to win our competition. They rather thought: Well, that´s a show! And I like it a lot. As I always say and as I have written on my team T-shirt: It´s a game, not a war. One needs to perceive it like that. We never compete to kill each other, we want to show who we are and what we are capable of. And when somebody is better, one must accept that, take their example and learn the lesson. I only had one competitor there that day and I was in shape, that´s why I was second. If it had been a different day, somewhere else, I could have been tenth or maybe twentieth or even the first. It is a sport, and although I love it, I know one day it is him, another day it is someone else.

What about the atmosphere at the competition? How would you evaluate the Brazilian spectators?

The spectators were fine, they wanted to take a lot of photos, I like that!

Let´s go back to your career again: What are your next plans for the rest of the season?

We are currently fully preparing the World’s Ultimate Strongman Championship U105kg, which we are honoured to organise in the Czech Republic, so at the same time it is going to be a meta I would like to master – to show off in front of the Czech audience as the strongest man in the world in the Middleweight. The competition is going to take place on 18th August in Přerov, where I was born. I would like to invite everyone this way. It is going to be a show!

Do you have any sports idol? Who do you consider the most interesting on the current strongman scene?

On the current scene, my favourite is Brian Shaw, whom I was honoured to meet a few times, as he once directly watched our competition in Australia, and he was very nice, he offered great pieces of advice and notes about the performance, and overall, I liked his character, acting and his brutal performance a lot.  A big icon indisputably is Eddie Hall, I prefer Benny Magnusson little more though. However, the real idol of mine is, unfortunately dead, Jon Pall Sigmarsson. His energy, attitude, and power are simply the things that stay in this world even after his death. He was able to inspire thousands of people without the social networks.

If you were thinking about the future: What is the highest meta you would like to achieve in your sports career?

I would certainly want to become the mentioned strongest middleweight strongman, but I don´t plan any further titles. My goal isn´t to collect titles, I would rather show people that should you be born with any disability, those limits are only inside your head – there is always something you can do about it. Next, I would like to motivate the public, so that the young people learn to chase after what they want, but in a fair way without shortcuts.

Can you imagine giving up sport and doing a different profession fully?

Probably not. Sport is a part of me. I can imagine being devoted to motivation and giving up competing – or at least not fully. But going, for instance, to the restaurant and cooking there is impossible for me – customers wouldn´t like it either.

What about your relatives? Do you have support from your family and friends?

I have big support from my future wife, who is there for me 24/7 and she cares completely about the facility, administration, e-shop, my comfort, everything – in order for me to be able to focus only on the training and competition. Without her, I would not be able to catch up with anything. And of course, all my friends and the rest of my family try to support me, and sometimes it is very hard for me. I am thankful to them for keeping up!

Do you perceive any difference (not only) in the gym between today´s newcomers and the times when you began?

Nowadays, young people are often big-headed. They know everything the best, because it was said by Filip, or they practice like lunatics because that´s how I train in their eyes. The next thing is they don´t know how to fully use their potential and in their 95% they UNNECESSARILY reach out for accelerators that make nothing faster and just harm their health. This is what I am sorry about, and I hope that times will change again, and that hard work will get to the forefront because you are NOTHING without it!

If you were to give them some advice according to your experience, what would you tell them?

Do not let anyone tell you how to live. Make your own authentic mistakes, which will shape you. And chase after what you want. Having 60 kg, bed included, doesn´t mean it cannot be different after 10 years of hard work.

Jirka Tkadlčík Genetics or talent? Jiří thinks it is just the real hard work!

You devote yourself to education and school lectures too. What is the cooperation with young people like?

Mostly it is perfect. So far, I managed to reach most of the school audience, and it is a great feeling of satisfaction from influencing such young people, who really have everything ahead and they can deal with their lives much better than how they would do being shrank by their vicinity. Because of that, I try to motivate and show it is possible!

Your fan base on the social media is quite wide too. Does it help you somehow?

Clearly! I am glad that I don´t have fans made up of haters, but people who are really interested. They help me a lot, not only in the written support or as the contest fans, seminars, and events visitors, but also as a scenery. When I am a thousand miles away, at the competition and I have a crisis, for example, I keep telling myself: Dude, do you know how many people are following you? Imagine 43 thousand people here in this hall. You can´t disappoint them! And this often motivates me a lot.

Jiří, thank you for the interview and I wish you a lot of success at the next contest! Would you like to say something to your readers in the end?

Thank you very much too and I would just like to thank everyone for the great support, I appreciate it a lot.

Would you like to find out more about Jirka or support him? Follow his Instagram and share the article with the others!

Source of photos: Instagram of Jiří Tkadlčík

Sandra Mašková: „My goal is to combine kickbox with MMA!“

Multitalented fighter, who wants to conquer, except for the kickbox ring, the MMA cage too! Almost always well-disposed fighter Sandra Mašková, known also under nickname Honey Badger (Medojed in the Czech language), is capable of collecting achievements in both disciplines. How is it possible to redirect from kickbox to MMA? Why did she do that? Will she sacrifice kickbox – or will she do it as well? Is she so cheerful in private too? You are going to find out more in today´s interview!

Hello Sandra, thank you for having found some time for this interview. Just a few days ago, you fought under XFN against Chinese opponent Li Mingrui, whom you gave in to by points. How would you evaluate this match? Are you angry about the loss?

Hello. Yes, exactly as you say. I fought against a Chinese woman, whom I gave in to by points.  Shortly I would say that I do not object to the result of the referees. Of course, I could analyse why the situation turned out that way… and under what conditions it would be different, but it would be useless – I lost. Dot. I am naturally not happy about the loss, but it doesn´t destroy me. I just accept it the way it is.

Do you perceive this duel despite the loss as a new valuable experience?

Yes, as a valuable and painful experience… (laughter) And as an indicator of what I should get better at.

The whole event was a fight between elite Czech and Chinese fighters. Was it an honour for you to be chosen by the promoters?

You bet it was an honour! I am pretty sure that it was an honour for all the fighters, who could have shown up at that gala. Anyway, how often do you get an offer to compare your abilities with the Chinese top?

How did you even react to this offer? Did you hesitate, or did you go into it immediately?

(laughter) I was called by my trainer: “Sandra, 19th April a fight of the Czech Republic vs. China…“

Me: “Ok, and are you asking me or are you announcing it to me?“

Trainer: “Just announcing, they wanted to know it from me right away.“

It was more or less like that (laughter)… it was a one-time offer. As Alena Holá said, Czech fighters got an offer to take or let go. So we didn´t even know, who we are going to fight against.

Czech representants surprised though and they were quite radical to the Chinese. There are differences between both teams in conditions, mentality and the culture itself. Can you see these things in a ring too?

I would say yes, sure. This is how I perceive it – those Chinese fighters were incredible holders. They were fierce, and they crowded to the front. And even though they are not too technical, they simply have got the drive.

You have recently passed a debut under XFN in the MMA discipline. What led you to it?

I was led by the idea of my trainer Lojzo Škeřík, as already a year before that, before I actually got into the cage, he suggested that the fighting trend is headed to the cage and that people will be more interested in it than in kickbox. So I got together with my second trainer Míša Hořejší already in that time and we started to talk about it.

Had you thought about it long?

I didn´t have much time to decide, because an offer came just in time when I won the World Games in kickbox. It was a great achievement because the World Games are like the Olympics for non-Olympic sports. As a result of that, the wave of interest got bigger and we took a ride right to the cage. (laughter)

MMA is an exceptionally popular sport right now, which displayed on the fans scene at your debut as well. Were the reactions of the audience a pleasant surprise for you?

I was truly surprised a lot. On one side, I was caught, on the other side, it pushed me forward. I was happy that the spectators accepted me so kindly.

The most important thing is that your premiere was successful, what we congratulate you on. How do you evaluate this match now?

Well, thank you very much. I would now say that it was a piece of cake for a try and we were very careful in the fight with the trainers because we didn´t know what to expect from that, or rather what to expect from me. (laughter)

You spent the whole 15 minutes in the octagon, it was an unknown experience for you. Was it harder on a physical or mental side?

Well, it was definitely not a situation, which I was used to. The time is really different from what I normally do. In kickbox, it is 3×2 minutes or 3×3 minutes. After the fight, I said that I am never going to go through this again, that I must find a way to solve the fights faster. (laughter)

I am interested in how you could redirect from MMA back to kickbox so fast. Is this change smooth or did you have to struggle with it a lot?

It certainly doesn´t go smooth. There are really big differences in the distance and the whole strategy of the fight. Just reteaching me the stand itself was quite a hard nut. For now, I am not able to say how successful I am. I haven´t got enough things to compare yet. This year will be experimental and then I can say whether I will do both, or I will choose one discipline. Now I have two months to learn how to move on the ground again because there is a fight in the O2 arena waiting for me in June.

And what about the future? Do you see yours in kickbox or MMA? Or are you going to try to find some compromise?

Until I can compromise, I am going to try to, but I keep telling myself – Ester Ledecká, Ester Ledecká! (laughter)

How did you even get to combat sports? What was the first impulse?

19 years old. I had the need to be different from the people my age and do something “interesting”… Well, I succeeded, right?

You had tried more sports, but you never stayed long, consequently, I would ask why did kickbox win?

Yes, I had tried a lot. When I was a little girl, my mum already took me through different activities and sports. I have seriously tried everything possible, from various dance styles, through ping-pong, drama classes… but I could have never been doing anything for too long.  I don´t know why my heart has chosen kickbox especially.

Did you not have any thoughts about giving up kickbox?

I was on the brink of my career approximately 3 times. But I have to say that there was no such situation within the last 3 years. There is not even an indication that something similar would soon occur. I enjoy the environment, I love the people, who I am surrounded by. I am totally satisfied where I am.

You had a rich career also amongst amateurs, where you completed more than 60 fights. Did you want to be completely ready to go to professionals?

No, I had never thought about it. I always combined the amateurs with the professional fights. Besides, I think that fighting in amateurs definitely doesn´t mean a complete readiness for the professional ring… it depends more on what sleep the fighter has! (laughter)

In sport itself, the mindset is important too. Do you pay special attention to this matter as well?

(laughter) Yes, I do a lot. The mentality is a big chapter for me. I must remark that since I met Míša Hořejší I have noticed a significant mental growth. Mentality and the inner mental environment is an infinite topic for me. I still try to educate and gain new information in this area.

What do you see as the biggest contribution to your life of sports? Has it influenced you as a person too?

The sport made me who I am. It formed my personality into the shape it is now.

When we look at your interviews and general behaviour, you are such a cheerful person. Are you like that during your training too or does the situation change there?

I would like to say that I am non-stop cheerful, but there are situations when I really cannot laugh a lot. I often cry during a training. It actually happens every second sparring. (laughter) It doesn´t work, I don´t feel like fighting, I don´t feel like punching those who I like, so I get beaten up myself – self-blame, self-remorse – then it all explodes, I have a good cry… then I come back, and I show a completely different performance. Just like that. Look – it is not easy with me for my trainers, I admire them, and I am thankful to them for not having buried me somewhere yet.

What is Sandra Mašková like out of ring and gym? What do you like doing in your free time?

What is Sandra Mašková like? Well, she is an alternative fool, who always tries to find better and healthier ways to do things. For instance, she would stop washing her hair with a shampoo and she would wash it with rye flour for 6 years already so that she wouldn´t put chemical cocktails on it. (laughter) My free time is living death. I feel like I just don´t have it, but when I find some, and I am not going to count in household chores, I like to spend it with my family, with a book in my hand or in nature.  And by the way, I started to work on Martin Janáč´s art project later, where I provided my body as a canvas – but we made a piece of art, that will stay under my skin forever. So when there is some time after a fight, we make this work even better. Yes, I got addicted to tattoos.

A lot of fighters teach others too, are you tempted by this future career as well?

I have been teaching for approximately 8 years. I started to study at the Academy of physical education and sports Palestra together with kickbox too, so I collected degrees, certifications, and experience, that make the trainer job possible for me. I was a trainer earlier than a professional sportsman. At present, I have clients without whom I wouldn´t be able to do it because the money I need to put into the sport is enormous.

Martial arts have noticed a great boom in the Czech Republic and also in Slovakia. How do you perceive this from your point of view? What do you feel it in the most?

Thank God for the chance that the fighters are going to be evaluated appropriately for the incredible hard work, that they put into that sport. For now, I can see there is generally a bigger interest in martial arts, which creates the ground for the professional sportsmen. The more people talk about martial arts in media, the more fans this sport will attract. And the better the conditions for the sportsmen there will be. They will earn money and they will be able to prepare better for their sports performance.

Do you have any particular goals in and out of sports?

Yes, it is necessary to have some goals. And although people say that “the journey is the destination itself” (with which I agree), there wouldn´t be a journey if there was no goal, so yes – I have my goals. At present, my goal is to combine kickbox with MMA.

Are you also tempted by the UFC, which is nowadays top of what MMA fighter can achieve?

Look, since the very beginning when they put me into the cage, they wanted to hear everywhere from me that ”my dream is to get to the UFC,” but I never really cared about it. (laughter) I have always avoided it by saying that when I want to, I will get there… Now when I sometimes watch the fighting scene a little, it seems that it is not surreal for me (considering my age too (laughter)). We sometimes even make fun of it with my trainers, that “when I will be in the UFC…”. There is the idea already, even though it is a little fishing story… and we know that an idea is the beginning of any creation. So we will see.

Sandra, thank you for the interview and we are going to keep our fingers crossed for you in your next career. What would you like to tell your fans and all the readers in the end?

Be fans of fighters and support the martial arts with your attention. We need you!

Source of photos: Facebook Sandra Mašková, Real Fighters Life, CzechFighters.cz

News from XFN: Duel Vémola vs. Pešta impending and further tournaments!

What happened in the XFN organisation during the last week? That´s what we are going to look at in the next part of our News from XFN series! Today also about possible combat Vémola vs. Pešta in O2 arena, Terminator´s health problems, a charity event, from where Jarda „Jubox“ Pokorný is taking a pleasant experience and Jakub Běle is looking forward to XFN 10! Furthermore, we are going to reveal the locations and dates of the events for the year 2018!

Duel Karlos Vémola vs. Viktor Pešta is becoming more and more real: Kareš confirmed negotiations!

Are we going to see two prior Czech representatives in UFC? Karlos Vémola is facing the invitation of the compatriot Viktor Pešta, who challenged him in an unusual form of a comment on the XFN´s Facebook page. Pešta wrote that he was ready to recall Karlos to fight for the belt in Light Heavyweight category. The fans responded positively, however, “Terminator” could not resist his typical picking at the competitor. “XFN wrote that I asked for the world-class fighter, so I don´t get why it´s you who is speaking,” Vémola countered.

How real is this duel? We expected it to be just another one of the sensations that always remain in the plane of speculation. However, the organisation promoter Petr Kareš admitted in the interview for iSport.cz that they were already dealing with both bruisers and they had even talked about this confrontation before. The only problem in the past was Pešta´s weight, while now he announced to be able to weigh the necessary 93 kilograms, which changed the situation. “We are very close to this match, I think,” Kareš said.

The duel could take place on 28 June at the O2 arena in Prague, where we would become witnesses of fairly attractive fights. “Yes, this is the only option for us today. Both fighters can enter the UFC at any time, and we are definitely not going to hesitate. If this match happens, it will be held on 28 June in O2 arena,” the XFN promoter concluded for the iSport.cz portal.

Karlos Vémola suffers from health problems!

In connection to Vémola we are meeting a new topic – and it is his health problems, because of which he was forced to postpone the second match already. Karlos was supposed to be the main star of XFN 9: Fight of Gladiators, which will be held in Nitra. Petr Kareš informed about his absence in the tournament via Facebook. By the way, just this post has started the speculations about the Vémola vs. Pešta fight.

“The XFN champion suffers from the long-term breathing difficulties and despite all efforts to get rid of it, he will not be ready until the match. By that, Karlos cancels the second match in a row, and each fan has the option to choose whether they will stand by their champion in the good times as well as the bad ones. He is going to re-appear on 28 June at the O2 arena in Prague. And at his personal wishes, we are looking for an opponent among the world´s best free fighters. XFN Champion is ready to challenge the world´s elite and he needs your support right now,” Kareš referred to the fans.

A charitable event with an interesting story of Jarda Pokorný!

We announced the Night run for Světluška 2018 last week. It was an event, by which the participants supported the community of the blind. Among others, Sandra Mašková, Matouš Kohout, Petr Kareš and Jarda “Jubox” Pokorný took part in it. The very last named has taken an exceptionally pleasant memory with him from the event, which we offer in the original version to preserve the authenticity.

Kdo byl vlastně vodičem?

Včera jsem se účastnil charitativního běhu? pro světlušku a měl jsem být společně s Matoušem…

Uverejnil používateľ Jaroslav "Jubox" Pokorný 13. apríl 2018

Jakub Běle cannot wait for the home XFN 10!

The fighter Jakub Běle will be the main star of XFN 10 on the home ground in Ústí nad Labem, where he is going to fight against Tomáš Fiala. As he revealed to us in the interview, he was done with the preparation and he only had to make weight. “When I started with MMA, I already told myself it would be really great to have a gala evening at home. I´ve been thinking about it more and more, and when this offer for the main match came half year ago, I did not hesitate for a single while,” said Běle.

Jakub also thinks that this organisation can eventually rank among the European top. “The XFN has already approached a rocket speed to the top. I think, that it is a matter of two years when it will have a great name in Europe as well as in the world like Cage Warriors, FNG, ACB and similar large organisations,” the Czech fighter said. The whole interview with Jakub can be found here.

First information about the next XFN events for 2018: 4 tournaments and 3 countries!

XFN does not conceal that this year it plans to expand into the new markets. On Sunday the organisation published a program of tournaments for the rest of the year, and except for the Czech fans, Slovak and Austrian ones are going to find their own favourites too. Two interesting foreign names are shining among the Czech cities – Bratislava and Vienna. Will we witness the breakthrough of this organization into the European level?

Source of the photos: Nutrend.cz, Facebook Viktor Pešta/Filip Hanilec, XFN, MMAjunkie.com, CzechFighters.cz, Facebook Oktagon MMA

„Hockey taught me to read the game well,“ Michal „Blackbeard“ Martínek points out

Michal “Blackbeard“ Martínek is a decent man with an unprecedented level of self-reflection, which you can notice especially in his responses about the last match at the Oktagon 5 tournament. He is a former hockey player, an excellent MMA fighter, and a full-time fighter. In addition to other things, he told us what it was like to train at the SBG Gym, what bothers him the most about the jealous people but also how his injury is doing.

Welcome, Michal! Oktagon 5 is over, what are your feelings about the tournament? Which match did you like the most?

Well, hello. I think the tournament was successful. The waiting was just too long. That´s why I cannot answer, which match I liked the most, as I only saw the matches that took place after my fight. I liked, of course, the match of Miloš Petrášek there or Gábor vs Klein was super too. In fact, it is hard to say, we as fighters have a different view on the match than a spectator does. We can see more things to rate there.

How do you rate your own match then?

When talking about my own match, I would say that I didn´t have to fight with that shoulder at all. I have had serious problems with it for a month, but I overcame myself for fans and the whole organisation itself because before that, Cverna and Úškrt have already dropped out and I understand that the audience wouldn´t like it. I did it anyway. The match was very long, I don´t like this fighting style but it is important to win. I modified my strategy so as not to rip that shoulder off completely and to win.

And what about the preparation for a match, where and with whom were you preparing? 

It took place in MMA Team, of course, next in MMA Monster Gym, OFA in Bratislava and in SBG Dublin Ireland.

Many (non)fans claim, that the fight with Nataška was certainly not your “best” day. What is your opinion on that?

In my opinion, it was so unlucky because of the straddle. I rather avoided kicks and I was bored and annoyed that I couldn´t do any combinations I wanted to do. Of course, it was not totally me, when I only had one hand. At least, I will see who a real fan is and can be happy that they could see me anyway. And clearly, the match must have been like a golden grail for the nonfans and they must have enjoyed the hates a lot (laughter).

Fighters often do not enter a match because of injuries just to be sure, but you took the tapes like a real fighter and in spite of the danger of a bigger injury, you resolutely decided to fight in Octagon. Weren´t you scared to go fight?

I do not get scared, I am very strong mentally. I can get myself up and have the match under my control. André is a strategist too and we talked about what I must do and what the hand is going to let me do. There was no grenade in the right one, so I countered with it from the distance and prepared it for a back bell. Normally, I can serve a 1-5 menu, but I could only use menu 1 (series of blows) and it clearly reflected in the match.

Your fights are a bit brutal, but the fight with Nataška was mainly at the stand-up. There were some attempts, but it ended up being the inglorious kick in the balls. Did you try a different strategy against the opponent or did your carefulness have anything to do with the injured shoulder?

As I have already mentioned, I was being more careful – logically, but I do not regret anything. I am rather glad that I tried a match where there was not a lot of aggressive dominance, but more strategy. I am glad that I tried how it works to go 3×5 min (laughter). Man shapes, gets better and develops with every match and when one tries new things, he does not have to be ideal right after but if a person doesn´t try, he cannot move forward and this was the case when I was forced to be different in terms of my current physical condition and I do not regret it at all.

The final match at Štvanica is impending and we are waiting for a fight with Dittrich or Cverna. Who would appeal to you as a more appropriate rival in style and weight, and with whom would you show a nicer match? 

I have said for several times that I am interested in Cverna. There is nothing personal in it, but he has got more fights in MMA, he is more knowing, and he is at the fight matrix already.  A win against him would move me to a good position in the world ladder. I don´t know if it would be an attractive match, but I prepare differently for everyone and I don´t care who it´s going to be. Hockey taught me to read the game well (at least I hope so and so far, it has worked) (laughter). I prepare similarly but sometimes I am more offensive and aggressive, sometimes more strategic by contrast. Each match is different. Each fighter is different, and it is impossible to do the same thing everywhere.

How is your injury after the tournament?

I am going for magnetic resonance and for now, I do not train, I only rehabilitate. When I get the results, we will see how serious it is and as I cannot put my hand over my head and I have a stinging pain in my shoulder, I am awaiting some problem.

Does Oktagon give you exactly what you need to move forward as a fighter all the time?

Yes, I do enjoy Oktagon and it is fulfilling. I am happy to be a part of it and mainly I am glad that I went through all the difficulties from the second preliminary match to the main card. Since Oktagon 1-5 I have been moving from one match to the next one hierarchically higher.

Well, let´s move back to the past now. In what times (or age) did the MMA charmed you the most? Is there any story binding to it?

I have been doing it since the age of approximately 19-20 and actively (official fighting) since 2013. There is no story, I was rather angry when I gave up hockey and I needed to unwind somehow, so where else than in MMA (laughter).

 Did you do any other combat sport before MMA?

I started straight with MMA, I tried sparring rather for the stand, rather ground, judo, BJJ, and wrestling.

When talking about hockey, many people have different opinions when it comes to accident occurrence in combat and team sports. You can compare it. Is hockey more dangerous than MMA then?

Every top contact sport is dangerous. In MMA there are dangerous injuries due to levers and big head and body shocks and fractures. In hockey the injuries are dangerous because one is not careful and gets a body check, furthermore, a puck in the face is a very unpleasant issue. There are different and other futtock shroud injuries, as a man works there in a high speed and one can often break some muscle. Every sport is dangerous in something else.

Have you had your nickname since the beginning (amateur times) or does it have a new character? Who was its creator?

I didn’t have a beard in amateur times, I was a shavetail then. I don´t even know anymore how it was created. I was watching something about pirates and there was Blackbeard there and a friend of mine said: “That´s you.“ I found it kind of interesting, so that´s probably the whole story behind my nickname.

What was it like to train in SBG?

It was good, but I was already injured there. So, my training was quite limited.

How did the training there differ from the home scene training?

It was similar to what my trainer André Reinders does. We are talking about so-called safe training. The important thing is not to get hurt, take the helmets and so on. That´s why we went there, as André honours Kavanagh´s methods. In SBG, they are, of course, very high in all terms because there is a trainer for each thing. Here everybody thinks they can prepare everything alone and don´t want to cooperate with other trainers. When we look at it from different perspectives though, I understand there is a few people training. In our country, everybody is smart rather in front of a computer and a keyboard, than to go and try a training. Maybe after that, they would not be so smart anymore.

What impact, in general, did Ireland as a country have on you?

We were in an industrial part of Ireland, so there was mess and untidiness (laughter).

What is it like for a sportsman to be live in front of cameras? 

I am interested in one thing only – the one standing opposite of me. There is a great energy and about the people… It is impossible to describe, it is simply an amazing feeling.

Did the fact that you are now a popular media personality change your life somehow?

Yes, I meet my fans in the streets, but my life hasn´t changed a lot. I am not a megastar.  I am still the same ordinary Michal, who likes to play PlayStation, to go to a training and is glad that he and his family are healthy.

So far you have been an undefeated fighter. Is a loss going to represent something that will move you forward?

My modest dream is to be like Marciano, so I do not think about a loss (laughter). I am a sportsman since the childhood, of course, I can lose, but I don´t like it. It would make myself little angry instead and I would work even harder.

We have asked Salin and we are going to ask you too. What do you appreciate the most about people and on the other hand, what do you not like the most?

I am not going to evaluate this in general but from the point of view of the sport that I do. I appreciate when somebody comes and can show the honest respect that I do this sport because it is very demanding at this level. If it was easy, anyone would do it. That´s why there are 5000 people in the audience of a gala-evening and there are 26 fighters there. And this is what people should realise before they start to hate cheekily. I mind the opinions of people who have never punched anyone, have never slammed anything and are smart like a radio. Next, I mind the opinions of the clever guys who punch the bag two times a week and say that they do MMA. Mostly when I read that, I say to myself that even a plash is deeper than the opinion and the comment of that guy. But it belongs to that, they have the possibility to speak, so here they are…

What do you think about when you are entering a match? Do you perceive yourself coming there and all the people yelling or is your mind set only on the judge who starts the match?

Emptiness. Total. I have a 100% concentration, I perceive the opponent only and the rest is somewhere in the distance.

Who or what is the biggest motivation, thanks to which you can get up in the morning and go to that hard training?

It´s a routine for me. I need sports in my life because I chose it to be my road in life.

Khabib or Tony? Rose or Joanna?

Khabib and Joanna.

Finally, tell us what your plans for 2018 are? Are you planning, for example, a concentration training or are you only going to prepare before Štvanica?

First, I have to get well. One of the reasons why I fought injured is also to get well until July and to make you see what you are used to. When I am physically fit, I will start to train hard and a concentration training is going to be a part of it, of course.

The whole figurekeeper.com team wishes “Blackbeard“ to get better after the shoulder injury as fast as possible and of course, to have his winning wave at sherdog as long as possible! 

Source of photos: Facebook archive of Michal „Blackbeard“ Martínek

“Success is the best motivation,” Slovak kickboxer Tomáš Možný thinks

Excellent Slovak kickboxer Tomáš Možný has got a huge success near-hand! In two months, he is going to fight in a title match, in which he can gain a belt of World Kickboxing Network organisation. His last obstacle is a Polish guy Tomasz Sarara, with whom he is very familiar. How does he perceive this rival? What would he like to achieve within Glory federation? What are his memories of his beginnings? Are the health problems a great warning for him?

Hello Tomáš, thank you for finding time for an interview. How does the preparation for your title of WKN duel in May continue?

After my last match, I made a lesser pause and I am currently engaged purely in power training. However, in early April I am planning on visiting my favourite gym in Thailand, where I am going to continue with the preparation. If everything goes as imagined, I would like to travel to the Netherlands for some sparring before the incoming match, as that´s what I miss the most.

There is going to be an experienced Polish man Tomasz Sarara standing against you, whom you already fought with a few years ago. How do you remember your first match?

It is true that I bear this match in my mind since I was only 19 years old and it was an eight-member tournament, in which I had three difficult fights within three hours. Even though I was not experienced enough then, I got to the big final, where I lost against this guy. That´s why my motivation to win is even bigger this time.

Is the Polish man going to be a challenging opponent?

He is definitely going to be a challenging rival. First of all, he is a Polish number one in K1, he has got a countless number of experience and he is preparing very precisely.

The match is going to take place in Warsaw in front of 50 000 spectators. How do you perceive duels, in which there is not only the opponent standing against you but the audience too?

Although the capacity of this stadium in Warsaw is more than 50 000, it doesn´t have to be full. Anyway, it is going to be the biggest stadium I ever fought in. Such audience brings, in addition to the perfect atmosphere for a spectator, a lot of tense for the fighter. However, it is a wonderful feeling to have the possibility to perform in front of such a crowd.

Since 2016, you have been fighting within Glory federation – How was the transition idea born?

As I won 8 matches at a world level during 2015 and 2016 and the professional Europe champion title, I got an offer from Glory to fight there.

Are you happy in the federation? Would you like to continue with this cooperation?

Of course, I think there is no fighter, who wouldn´t wish for something like that. It really is a TOP federation in this sport worldwide.

You are currently in the tenth place in the Heavyweight ladder. Do you have ambitions to fight for the very highest peak?

There are some ambitions but my way to this title is not in sight yet. At this level, it is very hard to move forward as the Slovak sports conditions are what they are.

Last time, you fought with Czech fighter Daniel Škvor, who you defeated by arbitrators´ decision. How do you reassess this duel?

As there was a lot in the game in this match, in my case it was the opportunity to prolong the agreement, I tried not to lose my head and to fight tactically. I didn´t want to go into thoughtless battles so I took the way of scoring.

You use your physical proportions skilfully in a match, does it have anything to do with your pseudonym “The Giant Slovak“? In what occasion was this nickname created?

I think that given my measurements (height 202 centimeters and the weight 115 kilograms, editors´ note) this nickname does have its meaning. It was made by my manager and I have been using it since then.

Let´s move to the beginning of your career, you started doing kickbox quite late. What made you try this sport especially?

It came all of a sudden. At a family celebration, my cousin, who had already been doing kickbox, told me to try it and since then I haven´t stopped.

Weren´t you tempted by anything else? Let´s say football, hockey or any individual sport?

No, not at all…

How did your parents get through your decision? Did they try to put you off from that?

Clearly, parents are not happy about such sports hobby at the beginning, as they can see it rather as a fight. I think, however, my mother has been sitting down under that step by step. She´s got no choice, even though, she will certainly always worry about me.

The first success came after a short time – is it when you decided to do kickbox at a professional level?

Of course, success is the best motivation. It was my case too when I won the junior champion of Europe title followed by the world champion title.

Do you remember your premiere amongst the professionals? Are those memories pleasant?

I won my first professional match in approximately 30 seconds, but the joy was very long-lasting.

How did your career evolve later? Were you watched by the people from Glory at that time too?

I don´t think so. It took me some time to start being noticed.

We know that your career is unpleasantly affected by your health problems too – mainly your back and knee. How are you doing now?

I have been accompanied by the health problems for a long time and I know I will never be fully all right, but at present, I feel as good as I haven´t felt for a long time.

Do you still have to be careful with your back after a surgery? Are you limited by that in any way, whether physical or mental side?

I sometimes have the feeling that it has more of a mental character, as one tries not to make the problems even worse. Of course, there are days when I feel physical pain too.

How can a man with 110 kg keep the necessary speed and impulsiveness? Do you have to adapt the training process?

Impulsiveness itself cannot be sustainably kept in a long-term so I work on it intensively before every match.

Despite fighting for Glory, do you still have to work? Do you have time for that alongside a career in sports?

In addition to my training, I train my clients privately and in groups, which is flexible for me, even though before a match, I put my efforts almost only to myself. I would certainly not be able to combine working time in a classic job with kickbox on this professional level.

What is Tomáš Možný like out of the gym? What do you do in your free time?

I like to rest and have fun with my relatives in my free time like any other person.

Is there anything you would give up your professional sportsman career for?

The only obstacle, that might stop me, is my health.

How do you see the increased public interest in combat sports in Slovakia? Is it nice that your sport gets more space in the media too?

Of course, I am happy about this interest as it becomes popular in Slovakia too.

What are your future ambitions? What would you like to achieve? Would you like to try any other discipline?

My biggest success would be an opportunity to fight for a champion title in Glory. In addition to that, I would like to have my own gym in the future to be able to pass on my experience.

Tomáš, thank you for the interview and the whole Figurekeeper.com team is going to keep their fingers crossed for you in your next career. Good luck! What would you like to tell the readers and your fans in the end?

I am really thankful for every support and the fans because they are usually the thing that energizes me and makes me go the right way.

Source of photos: Facebook Tomáš Možný, Manu Da Luz

Lucie Sedláčková: “My only motivation is a heart that wants to box!”

Is a star of the world women box growing in the Czech Republic? Lucie Sedláčková has her qualities as well as ambitions to get to the very top! Magazin Figurekeeper.com questioned her and Lucka revealed some curiosities from the background of her preparation in a pleasant interview. Is she planning to fight for the world WBC champion title? Why did she decide to give up boxing a few years ago? What role does her boyfriend and trainer Štěpán Horváth have in her success? Is she going to stay devoted to box or transfer to MMA?

Hello Lucka, thanks for finding some time for us. What does your current timetable look like? When can we see you in a ring again?

Hello, pleasure is on my side. In my career, there are currently big changes waiting for me. You have something to look forward to!

You became a silver WBC belt holder. What are your feelings after some time? Have you actually realised the value of this success?

That evening when I won it felt amazing and warm as I was one step closer to my big dream. I realize the value of my success, but later my feelings about the victory were more than one by one disappointment. The worst thing is the expectation. You expect amends, which of course can never come in the Czech Republic. I am generally disappointed with the whole Czech system, with my team manners, with myself as I believed and expected. To make it shorter and understandable also for the people who don´t do martial arts. Sportsmen after their big life success expect their life to change. They expect the next door to open and new opportunities to come. To have their credibility…

There was experienced Irma Balijagič Adlerová from Bosna standing against you, who held the whole 10 rounds in the ring with you. Was it a mentally demanding duel too?

Physically and in boxing, I was prepared the best in my whole professional career, even though we had a very short time to prepare with my trainer. From the mental side, I think the only difficult thing was that the opponent was not so active as I thought she would be. As a result of that, it was demanding to box 10 rounds with somebody, who is not so active but can suffer so much.

Now you have the right to challenge the world WBC champion – are you planning to do that and fight for the most valuable title?

We are planning to do that. But I have to gain more experience, everything is still in front of me.

In your corner, there is also your boyfriend Štepán Horváth – do you perceive his presence during the match too?

Of course, I perceive him only as my trainer, whom I believe, during the match though. A great thing is that Štěpán really knew me personally as one of a few people, that´s why he understands me so much in boxing as well. He can calm me down in the match, and direct me to where he is supposed to. The whole fight is only about me, he lets me play my own game, lets me fight, lets me express myself, in the corner he admires me, supports me and is able to bring me back to the game. It is important that we trust each other, that´s why none of us stresses the other one. We have a relaxed atmosphere, I really get better mentally in every match. I think that I finally found somebody who knows how to work with me gradually. And that´s what I am thankful for to him. You know, some people slow you down with their attitude, hold you back with their worries and don´t let you express yourself, don´t let you breathe… I think that not everybody is capable of being a professional trainer.

Can you imagine the opposite situation, in which you would stand by him as a trainer?

Me as a trainer of Štěpán Horváth? (laughter) That´s a great joke. Of course not. If it was his desire to have me close, I would be able to hold his water at most. And I would have to think it through a lot… (laughter)

Let´s go to your beginnings – how did you even get to boxing?

Every person has got their role in this world right now. I have felt since I was a little girl that I am going to be a boxer one day. I didn´t know how or where but that was not the point. My aunt has supported me as the only one in our family since the beginning and she spoke in my favour to my parents so that I could begin with boxing. I started with my first trainer Václav Němeček, in whom I had every confidence.

What did your relatives, mainly parents, said when you already started doing this sport?

I didn´t care much about the surroundings but I remember everyone supporting and admiring me. The parents didn´t trust me that box is the thing that could satisfy me. They didn´t take me seriously but they let me do that. At present, they are an incredible support and I would achieve nothing without them. As I am thinking about it now I must have cost many people their nerves. (laughter) I thank everyone!!!

In 2014, it looked like you were going to give up boxing for good. What made you do that?

What can lead a sportsman to end their career? Simple and straight – people who want to make it unpleasant, management, system. I was so fed up with everything, I felt like I am living the dream of all the other people just not mine. I won the Czech championships and I finished the next day. I am happy that I experienced the best boxing years in the women representation, which was led by Eva Líšková. It was the only person who did it with her heart, and in those times it was impossible for the girls not to have their results and not to bring medals from all tournaments. Nowadays, if a person doesn´t assimilate to the game of the others, there will always be a problem. When she left, I left too and the whole representation fell apart. I have been sorry about that until today because we had the power to get much further. I would rather avoid discussing today´s representation. It is never going to be the same as it used to be.

How was the comeback to the ring born then? Did you miss it?

At the last Czech championships, I was called by Lukáš Konečný. He offered me professional boxing at the German stalls, in which he acted during his whole career. I refused that, I didn´t even want to hear about boxing. I told Lukáš, that I didn´t want to box and that I would start with modelling. I was doing only modelling half a year when Lukáš called me if I hadn´t changed my mind. What can I say… I was quite happy to hear from him. (laughter) I came to a practice in Ústí, where I met with the German manager and we agreed on the papers and conditions.

Have you decided immediately to be a professional? Were you not tempted by the amateur career with the possibility to fight at the Olympic Games, where you would have great chances to succeed?

To tell the truth, if I dreamed of the Olympic Games, I would probably abide a lot of things and people. In times when I finished, women had just started boxing at the Olympics and there wasn´t my weight division. I didn´t have big ambitions nor dreams in amateur boxing. Today it is different. I am older, cleverer, I would do many things differently and in my way. They might open my boxing weight category at the Olympics and who knows what will happen until then. For now, professional boxing satisfies me more, for sure. It is all only about me. When I make a mistake, it will be only mine. I don´t like when other people decide about my life and career. Profibox is certainly closer to me, I can see a bigger future in it, you can secure yourself. To be honest, I don´t understand how some girls are still in amateurs.

In the professional ring, you have an enormous balance of 11 wins and 1 draw. Which one do you appreciate the most?

I appreciate every fight and win equally the same. There is no difference. I appreciate that I always come out of the ring safe and sound and able to box in the next fights. It is a beautiful thing to hold a belt over your head. But the real victory and happiness in life are something different. Maybe that’s why I win when I know this… (laughter)

Are you angry about the one draw against a Polish woman Kopinska in your second fight?

Yes. But not because it was a draw but because I should have won it. I cried over the result because I absolutely didn´t understand that. It was unfair. But when I look back at it, I am happy about the draw. It gave me more than it took. I realised some things that I would certainly not have seen if I had won.

There is hard work during training standing behind your victories. How do you handle preparations for duels?

The preparations are getting more demanding and harder with every fight. I admit that it is not too easy to work with me. I don´t like a lot of things on preparations, I don´t agree with many things. I don´t let anyone advise me, I am stubborn. And because of that, it is all more difficult. Anyway, it is only me standing in the ring alone. When something in preparation is not going as I imagined, I can make the balloon go up! (laughter) I take boxing too personally. When I get more relaxed during the preparation, I have positive people with positive attitude around me and I can focus only on the performance, then everything goes on its own.

Martial arts have noticed a boom in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Are you happy about this heightened interest? Can you feel it yourself?

I am very happy about it. I can feel that martial arts in Slovakia and the Czech Republic are growing.

Does it happen to you that people recognize you as a successful boxing representant?

Yes, it touches my heart when the people support my success.

Do you have a vision, in which direction could your career go? What would you like to achieve in sports?

You can´t have dreams without visualization.

Are you not tempted by other disciplines as well? For example, MMA which is expanding worldwide…

I have to admit that I get offers to go to MMA from abroad too. I like MMA, I like this sport, but at a high level. I would like to make my dream come true first in my discipline, and after that who knows…

What is Lucie Sedláčková like in private? Can you find some time to relax too?

(laughter) Ask Štěpán instead… I think that in private I am the little girl who enjoys her life with comfort, which she creates around her. I try to balance my life. There is a lot of hard work, strength, and men in boxing. In my private life, I have a contrast. More modesty, tenderness and a coffee with my friend.

What do you do except sports and preparation for the fights?

Thinking about preparation. (laughter)

You are already at a young age a great motivation for girls, who would like to box. Where do you find your motivation though?

Thank you! This is what I love about it the most! And I appreciate it a lot. To be honest, it is really hard for me to find some motivation. My only motivation is a heart that wants to box.

Would you like to use your experience as a trainer one day too? Are you tempted by giving advice to the younger fighters?

I really don´t know. I don´t feel like being a trainer one day. For now, I have no relation to that. I think that my life will go in a different direction after I finish boxing. But being a part of it or a trainer of little girls would make me happy. Because the future is only in kids, and the kids can change the world.

Lucka, thank you for the interview. What would you like to tell your fans and our readers in the end?

I am the one who is thankful for the interview and nice questions regarding boxing. I hope I was not boring for the readers. I would like to tell them one thing. Live your life, live your dream, be who you really want to be and go hard after what you want. People who like you will always appreciate that and do not waste your time or faith with those who won´t. You came to this world alone and you are going to die alone, it is up to you what life story you will write. With love, Lucie.

Source of photos: archive of Lucie Sedláčková, Facebook Lucie Sedláčková