After pulling out of EFC AFRICA 07 due to injury, Dino Bagattin is back and more motivated than ever to make an impression in his next fight. Seeing Nolan Swanepoel get a shot at the title means Bagattin was achingly close, and he fully intends to work his way to the most prestigious belt in Africa – starting by accepting Juan Lubbe’s challenge to fight at EFC AFRICA 08.
How did you feel about having to pull out of EFC AFRICA 07?
“A lot was said about me pulling out of the Nolan fight, some even said I was afraid to face him. Well now I’m back to set the record straight. I hated having to sit out and watch EFC 07 go by; It seems that people forget about a fighter’s ability pretty quickly. As for Nolan’s fight against Mawande, I was impressed with Nolan’s performance. Mawande fought the exact opposite game plan to what I had in mind, but I still thought he would have given Nolan a better go. Based on how quickly Nolan got through it, he deserves to be a top contender for the title.”
Have you fully recovered from your injury?
“It was just injury after injury in the lead-up to EFC 07. I actually had three injuries before I finally decided to call it a day. The last was the abscess. I had some complications from the operation to remove the tooth, I was in pain and had to go back to get it checked out. Turned out I wasn’t given dissolving stitches, and my gums were growing back over them. I’ve got a nasty Polish dentist, the way he works I think he must have been a blacksmith back in Poland, but the problem was he didn’t tell me I needed to come back to get the stitches removed. But now I’m all healed and back in training.”
What do you know about your next opponent, Juan Lubbe?
“I don’t know much about Juan, except that he has a standing background, and that he either puts his opponents away quickly or gets put away quickly. He called me out for this fight and it seems he has a point to prove; he wants to be the number one stand-up welterweight fighter. Well now he has to face the best, so I think the fans are going to get what they want, us standing and going at it. If the takedown comes I’ll take it, this MMA after all, but I’m not expecting an easy fight wherever we end up.”
What are your plans after this fight?
“I take things one fight at a time, but I do want that belt by the end of the year and I’ll take on whoever I must to get it, even a teammate.”