Igor Pokrajac: I threw a jab and hit him in the chin, but he didn’t event blink!
Igor Pokrajac successfully made his FFC debut last weekend in Ljubljana, Slovenia. However, his opponent, Greek fighter Taxiarchis, proved to be a tougher nut to crack than anticipated and at the beginning of the match "The Duke" literally fought for his life. One right hook almost made him fall asleep, but Igor is known as the fighter who can receive many punches and only moments later he made a big turnaround and scored a victory.
In an interview with Fight Site, Pokrajac revealed his thoughts on his FFC debut.
"FFC is getting better and better. The organization is getting better and better, and fighters and matches are getting better and better as well. It is now clear that the FFC become a staging ground for fighters who want to fight at much bigger events. This is particularly noticeable in the kick boxing section where Petje, Brestovac and Jurkovic capitalized their excellent performances. Moreover, the MMA fighters from FFC rooster are gradually getting shots in other major organizations, but I think the quality of all these promotions is still far from the UFC. I lost my UFC contract, but I will try to get it back through FFC.“
Taxiarchis is not Asterix after all, as Pokrajac called him at the press conference. He is vulnerable, but strong…
"As soon as I entered the ring, I saw my opponent has no stage fright or fear. I could not read his face nor find something that would tell me how to start the match. I was aware he was ready to fight and that it won't be easy. I saw he keeps his left arm quite low and I decided to use this. I threw a jab and hit him in the chin but that did not shake him at all. After that I gave up on that game plan and decided to throw punches and almost lost because of it. He shook me badly with a jab, but I knew I have to survive the attack and wait for him to get tired. During that I gave it a good thought and decided to apply more tactics. Finally I managed to throw him down and finish the match with GNP.”
Igor had only words of praise for the tough Greek fighter.
"Congratulations to Taxiarchis. He jumped in only a few days before the match and he actually saved the show. I was getting ready for five different opponents, so in the end I have to be grateful. I congratulate him on the courage and I hope that he will get a new chance in the FFC because he earned it. He accepted really tough matches twice and he never disappointed. With adequate preps he would be seriously dangerous.”
Despite the fact that some were not happy with judging at the event, Igor did not see many controversial issues.
“The judging in the FFC is getting better and better. Just as fighters need practice to get better, judges need it too. This time I did not see anything controversial. Referee Klarić covered my match very good and he was neutral. If he had been partial, he would not stop the action on the ropes and make us go to the center of the ring where I could have received a couple of more punches that would finish the match. I think it's time for the FFC to license its judges by their own criteria and the supervisor would thus have less to do in the future.”
What about the next match?
“I already continued with trainings. I went to the gym already on Monday and I'm waiting for my next match. I do not pick my opponents. I would like to fight as often as possible. MFC is to take place in Budva, Montenegro, in July, so I'm waiting for the organizer's final decision.”
Finally, Pokrajac also revealed that the first licensed ATT in this part of Europe is soon to open its doors.
“ATT is soon to open its doors in Zagreb with coach Dražen Forgač and his whole CCA team is to move to the new gym. From April 27 I will also do sparring with Alessio Sakara who will be in Zagreb for two weeks and prepare for his next FFC match“, concluded “The Duke”.