Live with Valentin Halacenko and Dorin Damir !
Tell me about yourself. About your academic history, your path in general?
I’m 37 years old. I wasn’t an honor a student. My favorite thing about school was the recess. My first contact with martial arts was in 2007 when I was invited by PRO TV so they could test my abilities. Subsequently I started commenting sport events in 2008. It was my passion. I was watching K-1 tournaments on the internet and on TV. I was a sports TV show producer as well as a commentator. And 10 years ago, I started commenting the tournaments in Moldova. I believe since 2011 I never missed an event. At the present time I don’t work for PRO TV anymore, I’ve been employed by Antena 1, as a producer for the Sports Journal show. We revived this project, because Antena 1 didn’t have it for the past 7 years.
Besides kickboxing and MMA, have you commented other types of sports?
Yes, there were many, box for example. I actually started with box. I commented a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, it was my debut bout. But I also commented different kind of weird sports, like The Lumberjack World Championship, or someone who tried to beat a world record at pulling a ship, or an airplane, karate, armwrestling. All of the things that no one else wanted to comment.
What’s more important for a commentator, to be an expert in the sport he’s commenting on, or to talk properly, to have the diction, vocabulary?
I actually had some problems with my diction, I worked with a professional to improve this aspect. Now I’m very voluble, but it wasn’t always the case. So, this part is very important.
Your opinion on bear knuckle fighting?
It started in North America; To my understanding the South America has some project too. I saw a few matches in Romania as well. This kind of sport has to be very well thought. You can’t bring a fighter that stays open because the whole fight might be ruined. You have to bring sturdy fighters, who can receive a lot of punches to the head and still remaining on their feet. Because there’s a high risk for injuries, and the whole event might end very quickly, thus the popularity might drop just as easily. The UFC started out without gloves as well, but there has to be a reason why they introduced them.
In the near future, some Moldovan fighters will fight within different well-known Romanian promotions. Let’s take it chronologically, the 1st one will take place on the 31st of May, Colosseum, where Vitalie Matei will meet Sorin Caliunic, from Romania, in a title bout. Your thoughts?
I’m not sure how recognized is Sorin Caliniuc to the general public, but he’s known in Romania, since he had a few televised matches recently. Mentally he’s very well prepared, he was supposed to fight in qualifying boxing match for the Olympics, but this didn’t happen due to the pandemic. His boxing skills are on point, he’s in great shape, I’m familiar with his coach, but unfortunately, they don’t have a big enough gym. There are 2-3 athletes at a time in the gym and afterwards they go for sparring sessions in other gyms. Compared to Vitalie Matei, who trains at Thai Boxing Club, where there many fighters, kickboxers, boxers and mixed martial arts fighters as well. Fun fact, Sorin Caliniuc’s coach is very strict, he calls him every night at 9 pm to check if he’s home.
During the same event, Maxim Railean will have to defend his belt against Cristian Spetcu, who participated in our tournaments as well. It will be an interesting fight, Maxim is older and more experienced, but like many others, didn’t have many fights lately.
Spetcu had a two-year break too until hist most recent fight. But presented himself very well, he fought against another Maxim, Adrian Maxim, and won. Spetcu, in his spare time, has a side business, he makes pancakes in two locations of Bucharest, fruit pancakes, chocolate pancakes. I was there once, he’s a wonderful cook.
The next promotion we’re going to talk about is Dynamite Fighting Show, which will take place on the 4th of June.
The main event is the fight between Andrei Stoica and Pavel Voronin. There were many speculations after their last bout. I think the stakes are high for both sides and consequently it will result in a great fight.
Tell me about the Golden Fighter Championship. Petru Morari will fight within this organization on the 23rd of June.
I was an announcer at their first event, in co-promotion with OSS Fighters, alongside a Chinese presenter, because it was Romania vs China. A Chinese man who didn’t speak English at all. It was, comical, an interesting experience. Now they organize their own events.
Petru Morari had previously fought within this promotion and won by knockout.
Your opinion about our last event, which took place on the 13th of March. What do you think about K-1 bouts in the cage?
If I had to choose between MMA in the ring and Kickboxing in the cage, I would certainly pick Kickboxing in the cage. I think it would be an interesting idea to try out a kickboxing match with MMA gloves, it could be even more spectacular. Generally, the event was very well organized. Even the transportation and accommodation, we were very well protected. I was very pleased to see some new names during the Eagles event. I enjoyed the title bout between Mehman Mammedov and Evgeny Manko- Sibirsky. It was a very clean, technical match. After that, in the kickboxing part, there wasn’t a single fight that wasn’t great. Sadly, Ristea, whom I know very well, has lost in front of the Russian fighter.
Your thoughts on GLORY’s evolution? Where are they headed?
I think Glory didn’t adapt very well to the whole pandemic situation, like UFC did. If you want to be the number 1 in kickboxing, you have to organize at least 10 events per year. They cling to a few big names, like Badr Hari, Rico Verhoeven, Benny Adegbuyi, our friend. They try to milk their notoriety, and the problem is that their match ups don’t have a story behind anymore.