Finn Juha-Pekka Vainikainen (20 wins & 8 losses, #3 ranked Nordic lightweight) is stepping up as a late replacement to face TUF champion Efrain Escudero for the Superior Challenge X title bout this Saturday. With Reza Madadi injured, the Espoon Kehähait fighter was ready to step in against the UFC veteran in this exciting title fight at the promotions first trip to the Helsingborg Arena. Hear from the lightweight Finnish fighter as he gets ready to step up for the title shot on just days notice.
You are taking the bout on less than 2 weeks notice, are you ready for the fight?
For sure I´m ready for Saturday. I only have to lose some weight but that´s the thing with every fight.
Were you training for a bout?
I wasn´t training for a fight but as usual we had hard training going on. This time preparing Niko Puhakka for his fight on Poland 10.5. Its easy to take on opportunity like this when your training such a great gym like Espoon Kehähait. We have always someone who has fight coming so hard training is always going on.
What must you do against the wrestler Efrain Escudero in order win?
Fighting against a wrestler doesn´t sound any different to me. I have fought only Pedro Morcillo who didn´t want to take me down. So the gameplan doesn´t change from my normal. I have to avoid takedowns and scrambles and keep the fight standing and on my distance. I´m happy we have such a talented grapplers in our gym, so I don’t think Escudero will have surprises for me.
Is this the biggest fight of your career?
I don´t know or care if this is biggest fight of my career, but for sure this is a big chance. Win over Escudero would get me noticed at least all over Europe and winning the belt guarantees me more fights.
At last I want to thank my sponsors Fairtex, Fast sports nutrition and mivitotal. Of course my family and friends for supporting me and training partners for making this possible. Thanks for interviewing me on mmaviking.com.
MMAViking.com will be reporting live from the Helsingborg Arena this Saturday night. Stay tuned for live play-by-play, photos, and videos.