The AFL middleweight title will be decided at AFL 20: Resurrection on May 18 when Spanish based Romanian fighter Ratza Ciprian (8-8) squares off against France’s Paul Marconnie (4-1). Both men were in action at the last AFL event in the area and both walked away with impressive stoppage wins.
Cirpian has been competing professionally since 2013 and brings with him a fierce reputation of putting opponents away and is never involved in a dull fight. Marconnie comes into this contest on a three-fight-win-streak, all submission stoppages, which started at AFL 17 last September.
We spoke with Ciprian ahead of this fight about training, moving up in weight, his opponent, what it would mean to win the title, and more. Tickets are on sale right now from eventbrite.es and begin at € 25. The event will be streamed live on Fite.tv .
AFL: How are you feeling ahead of this fight? How is training going?
Ratza Ciprian: I’m feeling good! I am feeling healthy and strong. I don’t have to cut weight for this fight and, as a result, I can train harder. Everything is going perfectly. Can’t wait for May 18th!!
AFL: What are your thoughts on your opponent?
RC: He is a tough opponent with a good ground game, he has some good finishes, but I think I fight early in my career I have faced tougher opponents.
AFL: Where do you feel you are stronger than him? Where is he weak?
RC: I feel it would be a mistake on my part to think that any opponent is week on something. You don’t want to underestimate an opponent because then you might have some surprises. But I think I am the better striker. However, I will be prepared for anywhere the fight goes.
AFL: He is performing well lately with lots of finishes. How are you approaching this fight?
RC: You are right, he is performing very well and has some great finishes but I really think I can face him in a grappling confrontation. We’ll see…
AFL: This fight will be for the title. What would it mean to you to lift the AFL middleweight title?
RC: This belt means everything to me!!! I know what is the level of MMA in AFL and for me, as a fighter, it is a great opportunity. Maybe it is a unique opportunity for me too, I’m 37-years-old, this is not my category as I’m usually a welterweight, so it would be a dream come true if I win a belt in such a prestigious league. I will do everything to take that belt, believe me when I say that!!
AFL: What are your thoughts on MMA in Spain?
RC: I’m from Romania but I live in Spain for the past 10 years. My career as a professional fighter began six years ago since I moved to Spain and I started fighting here, Portugal, and Romania. MMA is Spain is growing always and I think the level is getting very good. Lots of experienced professionals and young prospects coming through.
AFL: Have you a prediction for the fight on May 18?
RC: I don’t do predictions, In an MMA fight anything can happen! I just know I am going to do whatever it takes to win.
AFL: One last message for your opponent?
RC: I don’t have any message for my opponent. The best place to talk is when the cage door closes. So I just say, let’s make a great fight and the better man will lift the title in the end.
AFL 20: Resurrection will take place on May 18th at the Jose Antonio Gasca Municipal Sports Center with a card filled with some of Spain & Europe’s top MMA fighters.
AFL 20 Fight Card
Main Event – Retirement Fight
Mikel Cortes (10-5) vs. Alex Sabia (3-0)
Vacant Middleweight Title
Ratza Ciprian (8-8) vs. Paul Marconnie (4-1)
Silviu Cudalbu (4-2) vs. Arkaitz Ramos (6-1)
Featherweight No. 1 Contender Fight
Aliston Lamb (7-5) vs. Mikel Mendinueta (5-2)
Christian Maronas (3-0) vs. Johan Segas (2-0)
Javi Rubio (1-1) vs. Gaetan Traina (1-1)
Fernando Calvo (1-1) vs. Miguel Latasa (0-1)
Featherweight: Roberto Portillo Jaime Urdanpilleta
Bantamweight: Adriana Conde. Aitana Alvarez
75kg: A Rafa vs. Ander Barbarin
More fights TBA