Cage promotion’s welterweight champion Ville Räsänen (11-3) will meet the toughest opponent of his career this saturday at the Cage 18 show where he will fight Sweden’s top ranked Assan Njie who will drop down from middleweight from the first time. MMAViking talked with gritty Finn who takes this fight very seriously as he knows that a win over Njie would move him far up the ladder.

Ville Räsänen is ready to defend his belt in the biggest fight of his career. Photo by

Everything has gone as planned in preparation for Saturday’s bout. I’ve been able to stay healthy, just little bruises from training. For this fight I have tried to do everything a little bit better than before, starting from the diet. Everything has been done with thought and I feel that we have gained real improvements.

Mostly I have been training with Jussi Pulkkinen and Antti Virtanen with my coach Mikko Suvanto overseeing everything. I’ve also tried to work on my striking with the striking specialists Teppo Laine and Mikko Tirronen from Lappeenranta. We did the final sparring sessions with GB Gym’s Kai Puolakka here at Imatra. “

MMA Imatra’s Räsänen isn’t nervous about the step up in competition. On the contrary: he is feeling great.

“I am super excited about fighting the pride of our western neighbor. Assan is a really good and dangerous fighter who is highly regarded in Europe. That makes this fight even more interesting to me. I want to use this fight to raise my own stock. With a careful game plan and confidence I will win this fight and take the belt back to Karelia!

Thanks to all the guys that I’ve trained with for helping me get ready for this fight. I would like to use this opportunity to thank my sponsors Mikko Blom and Crest combat gear. Thanks also to Heikki Orava who has been taking care of my muscles and has given me diet advice.”

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