Raul Catinas: Heavy-Hitter’s MMA Debut

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 So…where you have you been, Raul? You disappeared for a while. Who was the last fight before you took a break?

My last fight was against the French fighter Brice Guidon and after that I injured my arm. I was left without sponsors and I was determined to give up [the] sport. I was very disappointed by people in general.

What did you do in the time off?

I’ve tried to do some businesses on my own but my mind was still at my dream.

What made you decide to return to kickboxing?

Well, the dream to become a champion and a promise that I made to myself for my father which is to become a great fighter and a champion because my father practised boxing in his youth and when I was a little boy he guided me to do this sport. After he passed away I followed his advice. He was my true inspiration and I dedicate this achievement to him!

How is your body feeling?

I can say that my body is in a great shape and my fitness level is very high. I am not 100% fit but by the end of the year I will reach 90%. I don’t feel weak and tired, if we consider that in the last 6 months I had to lose 27 kg (59.5 pounds). Now I weigh 108 kg (238 pounds).

How did you end up living in Sweden? Do you like it?

I met a few wonderful people that contributed to my return and I would like to thank them. In my free time I do personal training. I find Sweden very beautiful with easygoing people so yes, I like it.

Who are you training with now? How did that come about?

At the moment I’m training in Stockholm at All-Stars Training Center but because the main sport in this gym is MMA, before the fights I go and train in gyms where the main sport is Kickboxing.

What its like sharing space with potential rival, Ismael Londt?

I was there when Badr Hari fought against Ismael Londt and just after the fight I had a chat with Ismael’s trainer, Michel Tholel. After two weeks Michel called me and invited me to a training [session] at his gym so, of course I accepted the invitation.

Last I heard, you were training with Mike at Mike’s Gym. What happened there?

My last gym where I trained was in Bucharest at Respect gym with Alin Panainte. With Mike I trained 3 years ago and we didn’t get [on] well together, but we remained friends.

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Look at those abs…

 Who have you fought since you have been back?

My coming-back fight was against Russian fighter Viktor ‘King Kong’ Bogutzki on the first of August. I won by K.O in the first round. On the second of October I will be fighting against Rustemi Kreshnik.

Any plans for Glory?

Glory Management called me in 2012 to fight for them in the [final] sixteen but at that time I had a deal with K1 and I couldn’t fight for Glory. After a while they called again but they spoke with Tom Harinck (who was my trainer at that time), but there were a few misunderstandings and we didn’t sign anything. Since then, no sign from them.

Who do you fight at the end of the year on Superkombat?

I don’t know who I am fighting with yet on the final season but I hope it will be Superkombat Heavyweight Title Shot !!!

I heard the SuperKombat Milano fight fell through. What happened?

My opponent from SK Milano had an injury and they [the promoter] couldn’t find another fighter to replace him so again, a lot of work and preparation for the fight for nothing. I was left very disappointed and I started to think what [I should] do for my future.

Is it true that you’re going to make the transition to MMA?

I [have] decided to build my future in MMA, but I will not quit Kickboxing. Maybe in the future I will fight [again] under K1 rules. For the moment, I am focused on MMA.

Where are you training?

I train in Stockholm, Sweden at All Stars Gym Center. I have a whole team of trainers in wrestling, BJJ, Thai boxing and boxing, but the main trainer is the boxing coach Andreas Michael, who prepares Alexander Gustafsson.

Which organization will host your debut?

SK in the Cage in Torino, on December 12.

Good luck!

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