▶ Fin­nish fighter con­fi­dent of suc­cess against Amer­i­can in head­line fight at Mubadala Arena

The National - News - - SPORT - AMITH PASSELA

Dan Moret and An­ton Kuivanen are both aim­ing for their UAE War­riors de­buts to boost their pro­files when they head­line the 15-fight card at the Mubadala Arena to­mor­row.

Moret is re­turn­ing from three UFC de­feats but a pro­fes­sional fight record of 13-6-0 (win, loss, draw) for a first time meet­ing with Kuivanen (26-11-0) in the light­weight cat­e­gory on the War­riors 9 card.

“It’s awe­some to be here and it’s an in­cred­i­ble place, and I’m look­ing for­ward to fight­ing him and put up a show for the peo­ple here,” Moret, 33, said at the pre-fight press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

“I’m su­per ex­cited of the fight. I was able to see him a lot on film. He’s been in the UFC be­fore me.

“I have fought some tough guys and lost a cou­ple of close ones in my last two meet­ings.

“I wasn’t given the things that I needed to win those kinds of fights against world-class guys.

“I have fixed some of those prob­lems and done what I needed to do. I’m try­ing to put a big per­for­mance in the main event and earn my ticket to come back here, and hope­fully fight for the ti­tle soon.”

Kuivanen, 35, has been fight­ing all over the world pro­fes­sion­ally for more than 13 years and said it was nice to leave the cold and en­joy the sun in Abu Dhabi.

“I know some­thing about Dan. He had a few fights in the UFC and a tough guy and pretty good at ev­ery­thing but noth­ing spe­cial and I think I’m one step ahead in ev­ery as­pect of the game,” he said.

“I de­vel­oped my own style and own game with all my ex­pe­ri­ence of trav­el­ling the world as a prize fighter.

“Nowa­days, MMA is evolv­ing and grow­ing to be its own sport and peo­ple are de­vel­op­ing nu­mer­ous ways and styles to win fights and make a big name for them­selves.”

Kuivanen was sched­uled to fight in Ja­pan in De­cem­ber but that was can­celled and he was rerouted to Abu Dhabi.

“I have been pre­par­ing for Ja­pan and now come here to Abu Dhabi in good shape,” said the Finn. “I had a few of­fers, one from Lon­don and an­other from Rus­sia, but de­cided to come here be­cause I never fought in the desert and it was a new op­por­tu­nity and new ex­pe­ri­ence and a new chal­lenge.”

Pawan Singh / The National

Dan Moret, left, and An­ton Kuivanen said at the pre-fight con­fer­ence that they were both look­ing for­ward to a de­but in the UAE

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