Daniel Ghita is one of the fastest rising stars in Heavyweight Kickboxing of the past few years, he was well on his way to being a star in 2010, but the right that really propelled him to international fame was his battle with Gokhan Saki at the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals. It was a classic bout between the two men, with Saki taking the win that time and moving on to the semifinals. Of course, he moved on to the semifinals with injured ribs and a broken arm, the fight with Ghita leaving its mark.
In the past few years Daniel Ghita has worked tirelessly to become a better fighter, and under the tutelage of Anil Dubar he has become a force to be reckoned with. Ghita was always known for his deadly kicks, especially his low kicks, but over the past few years he has brought a new understanding of the complete Kickboxing game to the ring with him, including a deadly right hand which has earned him the new nickname of “The Sniper,” a much more refined nickname than his past one of “The Savage Samurai.”
LiverKick caught up with Daniel Ghita as he prepared for his fight for Gokhan Saki this weekend to see how this fight will be different from the last and what Ghita expects out of this fight and the future.
“I never compare a fight from the past with a fight from the present,” he answered when asked if this fight would be as exciting as the last one. “Every fight is different and unique. We improved the last two years, both of us. For me is it very important to show what I learned in the last few years. I’m very severe with myself.
“It will be a great fight between two warriors who both want to be number one! It will be a fight of very high level,” he continued. “You never can say something in advance. You have to be there in the ring. Every fight and matchup is different. It all depends on yourself.”
Even though Ghita has grown as a fighter over the last few years, he is still careful to not overlook any opponent or to overrate his skills in the ring. “Saki is a very strong opponent and he improved in the last few years. I do not underestimate my opponents. We are both at the same high level. We will see who is going to make the first mistake. We are both two different type of fighters, which will make for a very special explosive fight.”
In fact, he’s a bit tough on himself, still, and scours the internet for commentaries on his performance. “You will see the match and I will read your comments after that! I really enjoy reading your site.”
The marked improvement that Ghita has shown fight-after-fight is impressive, if not some of the most impressive improvement of any fighter in the game right now. The reality is that Ghita is always pushing himself to achieve more and is never truly happy unless he’s improving.
“I never train especially just for the fighter or just for one match! I train for myself all the time,” he admitted, showing his work ethic. “It happens that I look at my old matches later and think, ‘you have to train now in this technique,’ because I’m never pleased with myself! There is always something I can learn and do better! I’m my biggest opponent all the time. I have to be prepared for any unexpected situation in the ring.
“You never know what to expect in the ring,” he added. “In the ring, I find the weakness of the opponent. That’s the key to my success: Start with yourself and improve everything you think you can do better. Don’t be ashamed or proud to learn new things and accept criticism and remarks without reading too much into it: I know better!”
Ghita’s attitude is one that many could learn from and thrive with, but the deck is stacked against him this weekend as he’ll enter the ring in Turkey, Gokhan Saki’s home country. Turkish fans are incredibly proud of Saki and his accomplishments, which could make for a tough night for Ghita if he isn’t careful.
“A whole arena against Ghita!” The Romanian fighter joked. “I do not regret, for one second, accepting the fight in his country. In the ring, you are alone and have to show the entire world what you can or cannot do. For me, this a fight just like any other fight in my career. I would have preferred this fight in a neutral country, it would have been more fair to both fighters.
“I love Turkey and I have a lot of Turkish fans, too,” he added, showing his international appeal. “I got many messages from Turkish fans, which impressed me very much. I even have a member in my team with Turkish origin, Nazli! She is smart woman and a very fanatic fan of mine.”
Since the last time we spoke with Ghita he made it to the Finals of the Glory Grand Slam Tournament where he suffered a disappointing loss to Sem Schilt in what most believe was an unfair stoppage. It was impossible to not get his thoughts on record of that fight.
“Yes, I was disappointed that the fight was stopped too early,” he confirmed, reflecting on that night. “I was not hurt, dizzy, whatever. I was just standing up slowly. I was disappointed because I would have liked to fight until the end. I will not affirm that I would have won. Semmy was better, I made the mistake and he saw it. It was my own fault. I learned from my mistakes and next time I will not give him the same chance.”
There is a chance for redemption, though, as there are talks of the winner of Saki vs. Ghita ending up in a showdown with Schilt. We asked him if things work out, could he be the man to stop Semmy Schilt?
“I have no idea! I would like to grow 20 cm more!” He laughed, noting that Schilt is a giant, even compared to the 194cm/6’4” Ghita. “We will see, I keep training. I do not give up and one day we will see. Semmy is the best at the moment - no discussion about this! We all want his position, so we have to train and prove ourselves.”
Ghita is not the only Heavyweight who has made a name for himself over the past few years, with Tyrone Spong emerging as one of the best Heavyweights in the world and has a legitimate challenge laid down for Semmy Schilt. In what is not the deepest pool of talent at Heavyweight it might surprise some to learn that Spong and Ghita have yet to cross paths. When asked if this was a fight that he wanted, it was a very quick “Yes!” that Ghita had for that.
“Tyrone Spong is, in my opinion, one of the top heavyweights. I cannot say more. Let’s see the match between him and Semmy and then you can ask me again.”
Speaking of Spong, his last two opponents have been two of the toughest and most decorated fighters in Heavyweight Kickboxing in Remy Bonjasky and Peter Aerts. The fact stands that both men are aging and contemplating retirement, but the question is posed if Ghita would like to step into the ring with one of them before they retire, and his excitement shows his sincerity.
“Yes - both fighters! I wish to fight both! That’s just me, though – always wanting more. Both are legends, real champions of kickboxing. I admire both and hope to have the honor to have a match with both.
“At last I want to add that I read Liverkick and I enjoy it!” He made sure to add in before we let him go. “I like the sense of humor and the comments! Keep up the spirit!”
I guess we can’t argue with that, right? Seriously, he made us add that.
Catch GLORY 6 Istanbul this weekend, live on LiverKick for $20, where Daniel Ghita and Gokhan Saki will clash in one of the most-anticipated Heavyweight showdowns of the past few years, as well as much more.