UAE WARRIORS 9: KUIVANEN A STEP AHEAD OF MORET ‘IN EVERY ASPECT’
▶ Finnish fighter confident of success against American in headline fight at Mubadala Arena
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.”
Dan Moret, left, and Anton Kuivanen said at the pre-fight conference that they were both looking forward to a debut in the UAE