Ion Cutelaba Interview – Is Cage Warriors 58 competitor really the new Fedor?

By Fergus O’Farrell (@fergtheiceburg)

Cage Warriors returns this Saturday for their 58 outing with a show in the Russian province of Chechnya. As always with a Cage Warriors card it is stacked from top to bottom and features some of European MMA’s biggest names. One name that may be unbeknowst to many but has the posibility to steal the show is Moldovan debutant Ion Cutelaba. With a professional record of 4-0 with four finishes; a Sambo background and heavy hands and at the young age of 19 there have been many comparisons between Ion and MMA Legend Fedor Emelianenko. While Ion may be looking to emulate the Russians achievements in the sport his focus is currently very much on other Heavyweight prospect Michal Andryszak. We caught up with Ion to find out more about the great prospect:

Ion this Saturday marks your Cage Warriors debut and will provide major exposure for you to a worldwide audience. Can you tell fans who haven’t seen you fight before what to expect?

My debut in Cage Warriors is the next step to becoming an Elite fighter In MMA. To MMA fans I can tell the next fight will be a real SHOW!
How popular is Mixed Martial Arts in Moldova and what made you want to compete?

MMA hasn’t existed as a sport in itself for that long in Moldova but interest in individual Martial Arts has always been present. In the future, Moldovian fighters will adapt to MMA and rise to the mainstage.

Can you please tell us about your Sambo background; what championships or awards have you won?

Champion of Moldova in Combat Sambo and European Champion in Combat Sambo (WCSF version). Why I chose this version- because it is the nearest amateur version for Professional MMA.
Do you find it difficult to find sparring partners your size to train MMA or do you find it equally as beneficial to spar with some of the lighter guys such as Vlad Popovsky?

The sparing-partners in our weight is a problem for all fighters. But our coach takes care of this. It is interesting to work with lightweights, because they are very fast, and a speed is a good quality. Vlad Popovsky is my friend and I like that we are in one family, whose name is CSA-TEAM.
You’ve displayed both knockout power and superior grappling so far in your MMA career. Which do you prefer a submission or knockout victory?

Really MMA has many different technique. My mission is to win, but how- depends of situation.


Some media have called you ‘The Next Fedor’; predominantly due to your similar martial arts backgrounds. How do you feel about the comparison and do you feel there is an added pressure on you to perform?

I am flattered that I was compared with a legend in the MMA world, it’s a very big responsibility and I will do everything to justify it.
You achieved a lot in your first year in MMA; what do you hope to achieve over the next 12 months while fighting for Cage Warriors?
My first year in the career for me was a very good start, and I hope that this year will continue the relay.

Thank you very much for your time Ion

We really look forward to Ion’s fight as well as the whole card which is streaming live on in Ireland and MMAJunkie worldwide.

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