Former M-1 Champion Stephan Puetz talks about his upcoming fight with the reigning champion Rashid Yusupov, which will headline M-1 Challenge 74 event on February 18
- You are about to face a young and gifted champion Rashid Yusupov and try to take back the M-1 Lightheavyweight Championship Title, that belonged to you once. Can you compare him with your previous opponent - Viktor Nemkov?
- Yusupov prefers to fight as the counter-puncher as much as Nemkov. But I believe that Yusupov is better at this. He also utilizes a lot more kicks, and of course he is a southpaw. He raised up different questions, but I know that I have all the answers required to beat him.
- Can you compare the last version of yourself with the fighter you are now?
- There is nothing to compare except for the look, which hasn't changed. My mechanics installed me a new "chip" for only the second time in my career. I will be faster, stronger and more precise on February 18th.
- Yusupov belongs to the same team with Magomed Idrisov, who recently knocked out your teammate Ivan Buchinger. Can you say what went wrong in Ivan’s fight?
- Ivan obviously is, and unfortunately has always been quite a slow starter. He couldn't find his distance and rhythm in the first round and Idrisov took full advantage of that. But there will be a rematch between them with a different outcome for sure!
- Can you say there is some kind of confrontation between MMA Spirit Team and Club Gorets, which emerged recently?
- It's always a special occasion to face a fighter from "Gorets" as they have a lot of good fighters in their team. Fighting them is a tough test. They come to fight, we come to fight too, and we meet each other in the middle of the "Rage" to entertain the audience.
- Do you consider your fight with Yusupov to be a revenge against Club Gorets' athletes for beating Ivan Buchinger?
- What is a “revenge”? I am a machine and therefore I have no emotions. I have an assignment that needs to be fulfilled: to destroy my target, defend St. Petersburg and bring back the M-1 Championship belt to MMA Spirit.
- Are you going to surprise your opponent and MMA fans somehow?
- How am I going to surprise anyone if I tell you about it? You humans are very funny! All I can say, that I will entertain the whole World once again, and I will protect the city of St. Petersburg with all my powers to ensure a secure life in the most beautiful city on planet Earth! Hasta la vista St. Petersburg!
M-1 Challenge 74 takes place on February 18 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The event will be headlined by Stephan Puetz vs Rashid Yusupov fight for M-1 LHW Championship; with Alexander Butenko vs Abukar Yandiev M-1 LW Title fight in the co-main event of the evening.