Monday, March 26, 2007

Interview with Spain's Best Daniel Tabera

By Shu Hirata

Legionnaire and MMA standout Daniel Tabera came back into the scene after a two year absence and and became the absolute champion of the MARS 185lbs. Tournament defeating three fighters in Tokyo. Still undefeated and ready to embark on yet another journey Daniel will be fighting in an upcoming bodogFIGHT this summer in the 205 lbs. weight division.

FV: First of all, congratulations in your multiple victories in Japan. How does it feel to be the Middleweight Champion of the MARS organization and winning three times in the nucleus of marital arts, Tokyo? Tabera: Thank you very much. The truth is that I feel very, very well. That was one of the most important objectives in my life and I have achieved it. Actually, winning three times in Tokyo the fight center of the World is one of the greatest things an MMA fighter can imagine.

FV: How does it feel to be the first Spanish fighter to conquer not only one victory, but also three and reside that to be a champion in Japan? Tabera: I am very proud to have gained this title. The Fact of being the first Spanish fighter to win three times in an International MMA tournament in Tokyo, and taking the title is already a part of the history of MMA in Spain. I feel very happy about this.

FV: Can you tell us where you're from; where you were born and raised? Tell us about your youth, where you an athlete, futbol (soccer), other sports? Tabera: I was born in Cataluña, in the northeast of Spain and my first steps into sports was already towards fighting. I started out in Karate at 12 years old. At 16 I began kickboxing until enlisting in the Legion. When I was 18. Alter two years as a Legionnaire (18 - 20), from age 20 to 22 I trained in Muay Thai fighting. At 22 I found a S.H.O.O.T. academy, an affiliate of IVAD and shortly thereafter I transferred to Valencia to train with Alejandro Iglesias, my trainer.

FV: You and your trainer Alejandro were/are Legionnaires, tell us a bit about that. What made you go into the service of the Foreign Legion? Tell us about that experience. Tabera: Yes, we are both Legionnaires and obviously that stay in the Legion is something that marks anyone and stamps you with strong character. There is no such thing as 'ex' Legionnaires. When a man has been in the Legion he becomes a Legionnaire for his entire life. Alejandro and I served at different times (I'm 29 and he is 43) but the hard discipline to which we subjected ourselves there is something else that brings us together and makes us understand each other better during difficult times and in life in general.

FV: Tell us about your duel with Gilbert Yvel in M-1 Russia. Was that the toughest fight of your life? Tabera: To tell you the truth it was a fight without any technical preparation because we didn't have any time. They notified us less than a month before the fight. Because it was an edition of M 1 in St. Petersburg which occurred a month after the Moscow show in which I beat the 'Giant' Sergei Kaznowski in the Superfight. The organization decided that I should take on Gilbert Yvel in the next event, they offered it to Alejandro, and of course we accepted. It was a great opportunity to fight against someone like Gilbert Yvel. The strategy that Alejandro decided on was to strike while standing and defend on the ground. Evidently that took him by surprise and Yvel had to defend against my strikes and attack on the ground. At eight minutes into the fight I hit him with a kick to the jaw from inside the guard and he couldn't continue, but miraculously, the referee (Ronnie Rivano, another fighter from Golden Glory!) allowed the doctor to step into the ring twice. Meanwhile he recovered and that's how he was able to finish the fight. Without a doubt Gilbert Yvel is a great fighter, but on that occasion we both know what happened.

FV: Was it difficult to return to the MMA ring after such a long time without a fighting? Tabera: No, for me its not a big change because I'm training continuously and I'm always in good shape. Always being ready for a fight is part of being a professional.

(Continue Reading)

No comments: