Fight Festival 32 is set to take place this Saturday at the Töölö Sports Center in Helsinki, Finland. Among the fighters on the card are the Espoo Ring Sharks representatives Joni Salovaara and Mikael Silander. Salovaara faces  France’s Moktar Benkaci in a featherweight bout while Silander battles American Wade Choate in the flyweight division.

MMA Viking talked to the Espoo power duo about their preparation for Saturday’s fights and their thoughts on the opponents.

Mikael Silander: “After my last fight me and Joni head over to the USA to get some new ideas for training and also to measure ourselves against American talent. We picked up a lot of good things from training there and have been able to add those our game.

Since June I have focused on improving my own strengths and adding new elements to my game. I really didn’t change my training at all for this fight. Just kept my mind on getting better all the time. We have been excited about these fights and gone really hard at the training.  I feel great and ready for battle.

My opponent is a very experienced fighter and skilled in jiu-jitsu. For me it’s a bonus that I get to fight experienced and tough opponents. I enjoy when I have to face a real challenge and test myself in a fight.”

Joni Salovaara: “Besides training at our home gym in Espoo, we have also visited gyms in Porvoo, Turku and Helsinki area. We have definitely develop as fighters. I’m stronger now and there’s plenty of gas in the tank.

The opponent has a tricky style based on the few short clips that I’ve seen of him. I don’t know much about him so I can’t promise if I win by knock out or by submission on Saturday. Can’t wait to fight already.”

Silander (3rd from left) and Salovaara (4th from left) with GB Gym and FinnFighters Gym fighters after a sparring session at the GB Gym in Helsinki