On October 28, M-1 Global will crown their first ever M-1 Challenge Champions by individual weight class. On that night in Saint Petersburg, Russia longtime M-1 standout Maxim Grishin will face off with undefeated heavyweight phenom Guram Gugenishvili. Grishin the 2010 M-1 Selection Eastern European tournament champion will attempt to offer Guram, the M-1 Selection Western European tournament champion his first professional loss.
M-1 Global had the chance to set down with the heavyweight and discuss his upcoming bout, his training, fighting against friends, thoughts on a move to light heavyweight, and what it’s like to fight in different countries.
M-1 Global – How are your preparations for the title bout? Are you 100% healthy?
Maxim Grishin- Right now I’m feeling great. No injuries, I’m in great shape
M-1- Where are you training before the bout? Which are the aspects of the fight game you pay more attention?
MG - My training camp is in Staryi Oskol. I’m training in the new St. Alexander Nevsky sport palace. It’s a great and big gym, I have everything I need for my preparations. My sparring partners are Kirill Sidelnikov, Dmitry Samoilov, Viktor Nemkov, Alexei Nazarov and many other young and talented fighters. I can’t say I pay more attention only to few concrete aspects of the fight. In my opinion, Guram is a well-rounded fighter, that’s why I have to be prepared for anything
M-1- How do you see your future bout against Guram? Are you looking for fast victory or maybe you expect a long battle until the final horn?
MG - It’s really hard to expect, as we know, anything can happen in any bout. I’m ready for the war in the ring, but hopefully I can finish it fast
M-1 - Is Guram good or bad opponent for you technically?
MG - I respect every fighter. Guram is a very good fighter. He does his job very well, he has perfect professional record
M-1- How hard it was mentally to fight against your sparring partner and friend Alexandr Volkov in M-1 Selection final? Would you like to fight against your teammate again someday?
MG – Honestly, I didn’t want to fight with Volkov so much. I heard that some people said it was fixed bout, that’s stupid. Of course, it wasn’t. But what could we do with that, our destiny made us fight with each other, so I was very well prepared for it in any physical and mental aspects. I had an experience like this before, when I was fighting in amateur bouts against my friends. My first coach always said: “You don’t have any friends in the ring, even if they all are your friends outside of it”. Still, I think I’ve had enough of this experience, I wouldn’t like to do it again
M-1- It seems like you’re not so big fighter – at least, not for the heavyweight. Do you have any plans to move down in light heavyweight someday?
MG – My weight is about 227 pounds right now, I feel great. I hope I can gain more weight in the nearest future. I don’t have any plans to move down. MMA bouts proved very well that it’s not only about the weight in this division. Your head and it’s content matters much more
M-1 - You’ve had the bouts in few foreign countries: Poland, Brazil, Korea. Which of them you liked the most?
MG - It was very positive experience overall: other countries, other cultures, I liked it very much, though my fighting experience in these countries wasn’t so positive. It was pity, but I’ve learned my lessons since then
M-1- Would you like to say something to the fans, friends and family?
MG – I’d like to thank everybody who supports me, it helps me a lot. It’s very nice to hear some good and supporting words from other people, I’m very appreciated for it. I love my friends and my family, they’ve always been my biggest fans, I’m happy to have their support everyday. I’ll do my best to give you a lot of exciting bouts. Thank you a lot, see you in St.-Petersburg!