MMA

July 11, 2019, 5:01 pm

Kickboxing champ Gabriel Varga nervous for MMA debut at Bellator 224, but that's how he wants it

Gabriel Varga acknowledges some nerves for his MMA introduction – but also says that's the way it should be.

Kickboxing champ Gabriel Varga nervous for MMA debut at Bellator 224, but that's how he wants it
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Kickboxing champion Gabriel Varga tense for MMA introduction at Bellator 224, but that's how he wants it Kickboxing champion Gabriel Varga tense for MMA introduction at Bellator 224, but that's how he wants it

Bellator

Kickboxing champion Gabriel Varga tense for MMA introduction at Bellator 224, but that's how he wants it

By Nolan King, Matt Erickson July 11, 2019 3:00 pm

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By: Nolan King and Matt Erickson | July 11, 2019 3:00 pm

THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Gabriel Varga is tense header into his MMA introduction. But acknowledgetedly, that’s what he autographed up for.

The 34-year old isn’t acrophobic to acknowledge the nerve-wracking quality of wise his archetypal MMA fighting is on Friday.

Varga (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) takes on chap pro introductionant Jamese Taylor (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 224 at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs on Paramount pursuing prelims on MMA Junkie.

“It’s the nerves I sort of experient from my archetypal figure of kickboxing fightings, just when location was an unknown,” Varga told MMA Junkie. “So, I’ve gotten reasonably comfy now in the kickboxing ring. I’m concluding in on 40 fightings now. I’m still tense when I compete in the kickboxing ring, but this is just different.”

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    In preparation for a kickboxing bout, Varga said he usually focuses on two main aspects of his game: his cardio and his timing. If he can get those two aspects up to par, he considers himself fighting ready. But MMA preparation has been a bit different for him.

    “The arms fatigue in a different way,” Varga said. “And the heart rate gets challenged in a different way just because you end up doing that wrestling or pushing, which I’m not used to. I did have to prepare in a slightly different way. Aside from that, the prep was making sure my takedown defense is as on point as I can get it and my submission defense, as well.”

    In May, championion kickboxer Raymond Daniels crossed over to MMA when he defeated Wilker Barros with a sensational spinning punch. Varga isn’t aiming to top Daniels’ highlight-reel knockout. Friday’s bout is his archetypal MMA competition, and he’s setting his expectations to scale.

    “I know the bar is set quite high,” Varga said. “Raymond Daniels is the kickboxing world championion and he went out and put on a spectacular KO. But that’s never a concern for me. I’ve gone through my whole career just, ‘You know what? I’m going to go in location. I’m going to fighting and I’m going to take it round by round.’”

    Going forward, Varga said he’ll compete in both MMA and kickboxing and indicated the balance is manageable.

    “I think I will go back and forth,” Varga said. “I’ve enjoyed challenging my brain in a new way. It’s something you don’t get too much in the fighting world when you get quite proficient at the sport. … That’s really it. I like the new challenge – I like having some nerves back.

    “There are sometimes where I’m going, ‘This feels terrible,’ and I don’t enjoy the nerves. But it is good to have them. I think swapping back and forth between the two sports would be good for me.”

    For more on Bellator 224, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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    THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Gabriel Varga is tense header into his MMA introduction. But acknowledgetedly, that’s what he autographed up for.

    The 34-year old isn’t acrophobic to acknowledge the nerve-wracking quality of wise his archetypal MMA fighting is on Friday.

    Varga (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) takes on chap pro introductionant Jamese Taylor (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 224 at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs on Paramount pursuing prelims on MMA Junkie.

    “It’s the nerves I sort of experient from my archetypal figure of kickboxing fightings, just when location was an unknown,” Varga told MMA Junkie. “So, I’ve gotten reasonably comfy now in the kickboxing ring. I’m concluding in on 40 fightings now. I’m still tense when I compete in the kickboxing ring, but this is just different.”

    In preparation for a kickboxing bout, Varga said he usually focuses on two main aspects of his game: his cardio and his timing. If he can get those two aspects up to par, he considers himself fighting ready. But MMA preparation has been a bit different for him.

    “The arms fatigue in a different way,” Varga said. “And the heart rate gets challenged in a different way just because you end up doing that wrestling or pushing, which I’m not used to. I did have to prepare in a slightly different way. Aside from that, the prep was making sure my takedown defense is as on point as I can get it and my submission defense, as well.”

    In May, championion kickboxer Raymond Daniels crossed over to MMA when he defeated Wilker Barros with a sensational spinning punch. Varga isn’t aiming to top Daniels’ highlight-reel knockout. Friday’s bout is his archetypal MMA competition, and he’s setting his expectations to scale.

    “I know the bar is set quite high,” Varga said. “Raymond Daniels is the kickboxing world championion and he went out and put on a spectacular KO. But that’s never a concern for me. I’ve gone through my whole career just, ‘You know what? I’m going to go in location. I’m going to fighting and I’m going to take it round by round.’”

    Going forward, Varga said he’ll compete in both MMA and kickboxing and indicated the balance is manageable.

    “I think I will go back and forth,” Varga said. “I’ve enjoyed challenging my brain in a new way. It’s something you don’t get too much in the fighting world when you get quite proficient at the sport. … That’s really it. I like the new challenge – I like having some nerves back.

    “There are sometimes where I’m going, ‘This feels terrible,’ and I don’t enjoy the nerves. But it is good to have them. I think swapping back and forth between the two sports would be good for me.”

    For more on Bellator 224, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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