Interview: UFC Lightweight Anton Kuivanen “I’m Hungrier Than Ever!”
MMA Viking catched up with Finnish lightweight star Anton “Wolverine” Kuivanen who fought his UFC debut against American Justin Salas in February. After a hard fought battle Salas took the win by unanimous decision leaving the Finn disappointed with his performance. Now it seems that the young Finn is turning the bitter taste of defeat into fuel as he looking improve on all areas before his second fight in the UFC.
MMAViking: Now that the UFC debut is behind you, what did you think about the whole experience?
Anton: It was a good learning experience for me. I got much more of it besides the most painful defeat of my career but the life goes on…winning and losing is just a part of it. Justin Salas executed his game plan better than I and took home a deserved win after a close fight.
MMAViking: You seem to be in a good mood despite of the defeat?
Anton: the dream is still alive and I’m living my dream. I got the deal with UFC. I’m hungrier than ever. I am training harder than ever before. And MMA is so much fun to do when you’re this motivated. I believe the defeat in my debut will eventually be the best thing that has ever happened. It reminded me how much it stings to lose and how badly I want to succeed on the path that I have chosen. It was also awesome to notice how much attention the signing with the UFC, the debut and as a result the whole MMA scene got in the Finnish media. I believe this was just the beginning to what will come after I win my win next fight in the UFC. At the same time Finnish MMA scene is doing great and constantly growing. All the people working with MMA are doing a marvelous job and new talents are coming up around the country.
MMAViking: How is your training going on at the moment?
Anton: My coach Sammy has me working long and hard days. I have been doing freestyle wrestling at the Helsinki Painimiehet wrestling club, honing my ground game with the BJJ wizards of GB Gym, boxing with my boxing coach Antti and then MMA with my usual training partners at GB. Loads of strength and conditioning at the gym combined with running in the nature.
MMAViking: What else is going on with your life?
Anton: I’m focusing completely on my MMA career, thanks to my crew and sponsors. I spend my days training, eating and resting with some PR work in the middle. We just did an interview and video shoot with the FightSport magazine and now doing another one with the Pro Body magazine. I went to the GoExpo fair with Best Body Nutrition and met some fans. We have also designed cool fan products for my upcoming web store that will be opened in the near future. And of course I went to the Cage 18 show in Turku but this time I only had to talk in the cage and work as a cornerman for my training partners. While in Turku I took advantage of the situation and trained with Tom “Stoneface” Niinimäki at the FinnFighters Gym.
MMAViking: Do you know when you will fight next in the UFC?
Anton: My manager Olli will be in contact with the UFC soon and we’ll see when I get the chance to fight again. Thanks to all the fans for your support and cheering!