Vladimir Matyushenko Feels That He’s Still Capable of Becoming a World Champion
Posted by Larry Csonka on 09.11.2013
He fights at Friday’s Bellator 99 event…
- Vladimir Matyushenko recently spoke about the evolution of MMA and more. Here are the highlights…
On Becoming a World Champion: "I've been working so hard over the last couple years on evolving as a fighter, and I can't wait to get out there and show what I've been working on," he said. "I don't think people really know who Vladimir Matyushenko is, so I came to Bellator to set the record straight. I'm still strong, and I'm still very capable of becoming a world champion."
On How MMA Has Changed: "The game has changed tremendously since I first began fighting," said Matyushenko, who debuted in September 1997. "MMA is a mainstream sport now, and that's one of the reasons I wasn't ready to walk away just yet. It's really enjoyable for me to deal with fans and interviews because back in the days there was none of that. There were no fans, and there were no interviews. The level of the sport has also changed significantly. Back then, you had a bunch of brawlers. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't really know what I was doing when I first got started either. I had a wrestling background, and I would just go in there and fight. But I have learned so much over the past few years. The technique is just on a totally different level now."
On Fighting Houston Alexander: "My takedowns are definitely an advantage in this fight against Houston, and his wrestling and his clinch is not the greatest," he said. "But I've been working on my striking over the last few years, and I want to show the fans what I'm capable of on my feet. Everyone knows that I am a solid wrestler, but I also want to prove to myself that everything I've been doing over the last couple years has been paying off. I know Houston Alexander has been knocked out several times before, so I feel pretty good about my chances standing against him in this fight. I know if I stand with him it only increases his chances of winning the fight, but I feel confident enough in my striking to stand with him."