Interview by Michael Ng
Muaythaionline.net had an opportunity to catch up with Rafik Bakkouri French Muay Thai stand out and now recent star of The Contender Asia. Among Rafik's many accolades , he's 3 times French A Classe Muay Thai champion who's compiled a record of 33 fights, 27 wins, 10 KOs and only 2 draws and 4 losses. Rafik has also fought many times against top Thai fighters and International fighters. Rafik is also scheduled to fight for a European title very soon.
MTO: Hello Rafik. For some of our newer readers can you introduce yourself and tell us how you first started in Muay Thai and martial arts?
Rafik Bakkouri: I am 31 years old. I start playing judo when I was 6 years old up to the age of 17. After judo I was looking for a sport that would give me deep emotions. And I met the Muay Thai world in the stadium in front of my house in Paris. This gym is the Franthaifull taught by Jean-Victor SANTONCINI. I started and now I think never I am gonna stop.
MTO: You always fight with top talents like Samkor and Yodsaenklai. What made you decide to fight Yodsaenklai and even place the 100,000 baht side bet in Pattaya?
Rafik Bakkouri: I had just fought against against Samkor and Moussa Konaté, a great french fighter and I decided to go to Thailand and fight for the first time against a strong Thai but I didn't know it was going to the best one. I made a quite good preparation but I lost. The only bad points from the fight is that we weren't at the same weight. He was heavier than me and at this level that is something very important.
MTO: Do you have a specific strategy in your fights against top opponents?
Rafik Bakkouri: The best strategy is to adapt your technique in relation of your opponent. For that you have to know all the main techniques.
MTO: You are the first trainer at FranThaiFull as well as being a boxer. What do you think is the most important thing for a new boxer to learn?
Rafik Bakkouri: I have my coach Jean-victor, myself I teach the female and childern’s classes. The first thing I teach to my student is how to move in Muay Thai and how to move the feet Because a tree without strong roots is nothing. After everything is easier.
MTO: What is the most difficult thing to teach new boxers?
Rafik Bakkouri: A new boxer has to understand how to move and understand that for each technique you have to think about the defense at the same time.
MTO: You have also fought on K-1 events in the past as well as full Muay Thai rules Which do you prefer?
Rafik Bakkouri: I think I am sure you know my response but K-1 rules made me understand to work more on my boxing.
MTO: Who are some French Boxers that you respect?
Rafik Bakkouri: I respect everybody who goes in a ring to fight because you risk sometimes your health even with protection.
MTO: Who has so far been the toughest opponent you have fought?
Rafik Bakkouri:Everybody at this level is tough. I think the toughest opponet I have to beat is me!!!! The more I beat myself, more I could be better.
MTO: What or who inspires you to continue as a fighter?
Rafik Bakkouri: I am inspired by challenges like titles and strong fighters. I am like Son Goku in Dragon Ball. I like to be in front somebody with more experience or more titles than me.
MTO: In the Contender there were some obvious conflicts going on between Dzarbar and yourself. What caused you and Dzarbar to fight?
Rafik Bakkouri: No comment!Just when you open your mouth you have to understand what you say and there is a limit for the self-control!
MTO: Who in the house was the easiest to get along with?
Rafik Bakkouri: You are gonna be surprised but it was Yukay, Bruce and Narupol and also Zidov.
MTO: What did you think of the Challenges in the Contender?
Rafik Bakkouri: They are good but sometimes some of them cheat a lot!
MTO: What do you want to accomplish the most in Muay Thai?
Rafik Bakkouri: I want to be a world champion and fight against the best boxers!!!
MTO: What upcoming fights or projects can we look for from Rafik Bakkouri?
Rafik Bakkouri: Lots!!! I am always looking for great fights or tournaments. The 8th of March i could be a European champion. In April I could fight against the Russian Contender but I have to say to all the promoters I am ready to fight everywhere!!!!!!
Interview by Michael Ng
Posted by Blogtopia at 11:04 PM