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

ON 10. June 2018 • BY Dominik

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,, XFN, Instagram RytmusKing, Instagram McMarpo

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