Cage 22, that takes place on 11th of May in Vantaa, Finland, has a strong card with great mixture of established and highly regarded veterans on the main card and talented up-n-comers on the under card. One of the tough veterans on the main card is Finland’s own Marcus “Caveman” Vänttinen (21-5) who takes on the French brawler Boubacar Balde (9-5)  in a light heavyweight match up that has a promise of excitement written all over it.

MMA Viking talked to the Porvoo Barbarian a week before the showdown.

MMA Viking: Hi Marcus. Before we focus on the Cage 22 fight, let’s talk about your last fight that took place at the Valhalla event in March in Denmark. The fight with Angelier Benjamin ended to a standing TKO stoppage by the referee. There was some controversy about the decision. What did you thought about the ref’s call?
MV: Well, as I’ve said earlier, I think it was a bad call. But I don’t worry about that fight anymore. Now my focus is 100% on my next fight.

MMA Viking: You suffered a serious knee injury last year and had to get surgery to fix it. Does the knee bother you or limit your training anymore?
MV: No there is no limitations to it anymore. Now both my knees are bulletproof!

"Caveman" working on his GnP with striking coach Jaakko Dahlbacka
“Caveman” working on his GnP with striking coach Jaakko Dahlbacka at Fight Factory Porvoo

MMA Viking: Earlier this year you spent few weeks training at the All Stars gym in Stockholm where you got to put in a lot of work with the UFC light heavyweight star Alex Gustafsson. What did you think about training there?
MV: Training there was awesome. Friendly staff and a great team, smart training schedule/programming and the gym have everything you need for MMA. Will go back there for sure in the future.

MMA Viking: Gustafsson has proven to be a world class fighter and you’re a talented dude yourself. At the moment how do you see yourself matching up with these top light heavyweights as far as skills, conditioning, strength etc go?
MV: Physically I think I’m on a high enough level. Skill wise I still got some things that need to improve. But I’m working to get better every day.

MMA Vikingg: How has the preparation gone for this fight?
MV: It’s gone great! I’ve mainly been training at my home gym Fight Factory Porvoo, but there have been a lot of big guys coming over here for sparring. I’m in great shape for this fight!

MMA Viking: At Cage 22 you will throw down with tough Frenchman Boubacar Balde. What are your thoughts on the opponent? How do see the fight playing out?
MV: He is tough and looked very impressive in his last fight in Finland. But I’m tougher and will put him to sleep in the first round.

Marcus Vantinen
The FInn is determined to do this in the first round

MMA Viking: You haven’t fought in Finland since 2011. How does it feel to fight on the Finnish soil in front of friends and family again?
MV: As much as I like fighting abroad, fighting on home soil is still amazing with the support from the crowd and it’s less stress full because you don’t have to travel and so on.

MMA Viking: Summer is nearly here and that means that the Nordic MMA scene closes shop for couple of months. What plans do you have for the summer?
MV: I’m going to keep improving my skills, learn some new techniques, lift some heavy weights and spend as much time as possible outdoors hiking, swimming and fishing.

MMA Viking: Thanks for the interview Marcus. We wish you good luck with your fight at Cage 22. Anyone you would like to thank?
MV: I would like to thank my girlfriend and my family, friends, my trainers and training partners, Fight Factory Porvoo and Allstars Gym, my sponsors Revoco, Spartan Gear, FinSec, Twinsfinland, Northforce, JT-Sähkötekniikka, Laprip, Paalupiste, Nite watches, BodyTonic Porvoo and Bonafidehki. And of course all my fans and MMA Viking readers!