A fight that has flown under the radar this past weekend will undoubtedly have ramifications for the direction of travel for each of the combatants concerned. M-1 Global hosted a fairly spectacular display of violence headlined by Mansour Barnaoui and Ivan Buchinger on Saturday in Russia. Buchinger convincingly defended his title in spectacular fashion putting on a masterclass of submission attempts, spinning elbows and spectacular Judo.
In this his first interview since winning the M-1 Global Featherweight strap Buchinger is keen to clear up any notion that his opponent was at a disadvantage following what appeared to be a harrowing weight cut. “ There is not a single fighter on the planet who goes into a fight without any sort of problems/issues. I never try to complain when something goes wrong, but I don´t judge my opponents for their attitude either. I defended my title fair and square, just like I promised.”
Buchinger’s win comes on the heels of what is a spectacular winning streak. After racking up his 9th consecutive win the obvious talk of signing to the UFC is surely being amplified. “I have one more fight left on my M-1 contract and I have to say that I am happy working with them. I´m a professional athlete and fight for money to make a living for my family- sure I´d be open to any interesting offer, but I wouldn’t mind staying with M-1 for the rest of my career as they treat me with a lot of respect.”
Conor McGregor famously broke what was a promising winning streak for Buchinger back in 2013. With the meteoric rises of his old foe one would expect that avenging this loss would be something Buchinger is keen to make happen. “I´m a different fighter and person nowadays as everything has changed for me since I moved to Frankfurt to train with MMA Spirit. I have a real team with many good training partners and an amazing coaching staff. So, I would surely like to fight Conor again, but he is in the UFC and I am with M-1, so it doesn’t look like our paths will cross anytime soon. Speaking of rematches: I would also love to fight Akira Corassani again, because that´s a loss that should definitely not be on my record: I choked him unconscious – but the referee still declared him a winner?! I was so mad at that time and I should be 31-3-0 now .“
With Conor McGregor due to fight Jose Aldo Buchinger is keen to offer his opinion on who he thinks will be holding the belt aloft when their showdown occurs in December. “It´s a tough fight to call, but I believe that Conor has the mental edge. It will all come down to who is better on the night of the fight.”
Whilst Buchinger is keen to fight all comers he is eager to let them come to him. In order to sell fights most are keen to sell fights by calling people out or talking up their next bout. One thing that was particularly significant about Saturday’s fight and indeed Buchinger’s journey for the forseeable future can be encapsulated in his closing assertion. “I will always let my fighting talk- I know I am one of the very best featherweights in the world and that´s enough for me to know.”