Saturday, April 7, 2007

“Little Mirko” Ready for PRIDE Debut

By Tim Leidecker

Croat Zelg Galesic has burst onto the mixed martial arts scene like a comet. In the past two and a half years the 28-year-old kickboxer went from being a complete nobody to the British middleweight champion in Cage Rage. That has led him to PRIDE, where he is following in the footsteps of countryman Mirko Filipovic.

Dubbed "Little Mirko," Zelg has made a cult following in Europe due to his aggressive and explosive style. hooked up with him for his first major interview in which he discusses his fight against Japanese judoka Makoto Takimoto at PRIDE 34 this Sunday, his contract situation, as well as the comparison to Mirko "Cro Cop." Zelg, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. How do you feel about being in [PRIDE] after only two years in the game?
Zelg Galesic: It's a dream come true. I could never have expected to rise up the ranks so quickly in normal circumstances, but I have a good manager in Charlie, who I find it easy to discuss things with. We had a mutual devised development plan, which has pretty much played out. I did what was expected of me and my team did what was expected of them and now I'm in PRIDE. But regardless of all of this, I am still really excited about being able to represent Croatia and my second home Great Britain in the world's best fight organization. Your last five fights have all ended in two minutes or less in your favor. Are you looking for a finish in like manner in your fight against Makoto Takimoto on Sunday?
Galesic: I've trained to exploit any chances that present themselves. If Takimoto gives me an opening, he can be sure I will capitalize on it. Your teammate James Thompson has successfully defeated another judoka in Hidehiko Yoshida on New Year's Eve. Have you already thought out a battle plan for Takimoto with him or will you use a different approach for your fight?
Galesic: I am fortunate that my team Trojan has a wealth of experience that is accessible to me. Hence I don't just talk the fight through with one person but with many of the senior fighters and instructors. All have valuable advice to give and they are generally only too glad to impart it. James has of cause fought in PRIDE many times and has given me some valuable advice on how to prepare for the daunting task ahead, this has been the best advice so far. I am confident that on the day everything will go to plan and that I will make a good impression.

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