Gokhan Saki put on an impressive performance this weekend against Mourad Bouzidi, his first fight since moving from training with Team Golden Glory under the watchful eye of Cor Hemmers to Mike's Gym under Mike Passenier. This new team switch can be tough for some fighters, but for Saki, it seemed like business-as-usual. Our European correspondents Umut Ismik and Birol Topuz caught up with Saki after his fight to ask him a few questions, and if you know Saki, you know he tells it how it is.
LK: How has training at Mike's Gym been different than training with Golden Glory?
GS: After 10 years of working with Cor it was time for a change and when Cor told me that he accepted a function in the staff of Glory it became clear to me. I needed to think for myself for once in my life so I went to Mike. Everybody said that I was crazy but I believed in myself and in Mike of course. It was hard in the beginning but Mike did his best to make me feel at home so I made an extra effort to fit in and it worked so far. There is no way in hell to compare these two(Mike and Cor), you have to experience it to know.
LK: Is there anything different that fans should expect to see in Gokhan Saki's style since the gym change?
GS: After my first fight everybody including Cor was very excited so there must be something right. I will always fight like the old Saki because that style is what brought me my enormous fanbase. I'll never change that and Mike doesn't want to change that either. I am just evolving. I will take my style to the next level and maybe some levels more. Ha ha ha. So sit back, relax and enjoy.
LK: The loss to Badr Hari was a tough one, how would you feel about fighting him again? What would you do differently?
GS: First of all Badr is in K-1 and I am in Glory so this has never crossed my mind. Second of all I became his teammate. My first priority is to work with him and to learn from each other.
LK: Going into the Glory Grand Slam tournament, how do you feel about the rest of the competition?
GS: Last Saturday I have tried to make a statement. That was that I am on my way and will be ready on December 2nd. About the rest, I have no opinion! Opinions increase expectation. This is what I don't want. I just wanna stun my fans. The rest are side items which I don't care for.
LK: Does the new Glory organization feel different from the old K-1?
GS: Glory wants to improve the fighting game and I am very happy with that.
LK: Would you ever consider branching out into doing something else, like acting?
GS: Why? Did you see my last fight?!? Did you see me entering the ring??? Did you hear the fans and commentary????? Man, I have the best job in the world. I can beat up people with a screaming audience and get paid for it.
LK: How do you feel about other sports like Boxing and MMA, you've talked in the past about doing MMA, would you still like to do that?
GS: That is not in my mind. Didn't you hear what I've told you? I am evolving. I am taking it to the next level. Super Shane-style!!!!!!!!!
LK: What are your favorite fighters currently active that you like to watch fight and why?
GS: Canelo Alvarez and Nonito Donaire. Skills and will to fight. They never duck an opponent and are punching the lights out of everybody.
LK: If there was one fighter that you could fight, active or inactive, living or dead, who would it be and why?
GS: Pfff there are too many. Not out of disrespect but it would be my honour to challenge a fighting icon. I don't want to name names because I don't want to miss one.
LK: Glory is looking to run more weight classes, would you consider dropping in weight to compete, or is Heavyweight where you will remain?
GS: If it is possible I will. I have told you before: I want to fight everybody with the way I feel at this moment. Maybe two at the same time. Who knows man, fuck it. Bring them and we will see.
Birol Topuz is a former professional Kickboxer and currently works as an event producer based out of Turkey. He has worked with K-1 as well as Fight Code on promoting events in Turkey. He is also the Managing Director of Topuz Production. Umut Isik is a martial arts commentator based out of Turkey who can be heard on Eurosport on various events as well as working with LiverKick as a European Correspondent.