FSA Talks with SUPERKOMBAT Star Raul Catinas: “Fate Sent Me Where I’m Supposed to Be”

One of the stand-out kickboxing stars from Romania, Raul Catinas has carved out a name for himself on the international Heavyweight scene with wins over Daniel Sam, Stefan Leko, Mighty Mo, Jairzhino Rozenstruik, and more. The 2012 Superkombat World Grand Prix Champion is only 24 years old, and is still developing into one of the top fighters in his division. FSA caught up with Raul about his early history, memorable fights, and recent loss to Igor Jurkovic at Final Fight Championships 3.

Fight Sport Asia: You’re from Lugoj, Romania. Tell us about what it what it was like growing up there.

Raul Catinas: Lugoj was where my career began. It was the city where I put boxing gloves on my hands for the first time. That was a great feeling, and I will always remember my hometown. It’s a small city, but with nice people. It’s a little bit different from the other cities in Romania. For me, it’s my home; the one place where I can relax.

FSA: What was school like for you?

RC: School was good, but to fulfill my dream I made a lot of sacrificies and going to university was one of them. I was lucky because my teachers understood my goals.

FSA: You started kickboxing when you were 16. What made you get into the sport?

RC: It’s a long story. Most of the time I was alone because I didn’t have a father. For a long time I had no one to count on except me. I started practicing kickboxing because I needed to be able to defend myself.

FSA: How did your mother feel about you getting involved in kickboxing?

RC: My mom didn’t agree with my decision to become a fighter because she wanted a career for me, but in the end, fate sent me where I was supposed to be. Eventually she accepted it. Everyone has to make their own choices in life.

FSA; In 2008 you knocked out Paula Mataele and then made the move to K-1. What was it like fighting for K-1 at that point? Do you think that’s when you started getting famous in Romania?

RC: Paula Mataele was like a rock! I won that fight because God was with me! When I fought Mataele I was only 19 years old, and I felt like a kid in front of a mountain. Like David and Goliath! I don’t think I became famous after that fight. Even now I don’t see myself as being famous. Maybe I’m too modest.

FSA: Knocking Out Stefan Leko in 2009 was a big win for you. It’s what really got you noticed in places like the US and the U.K. How did it feel to take down a legend the way you did?

RC: Stefan Leko, oh, was a great fight! God was with me again in that fight. I didn’t expect to win by KO, but I was determined to beat him. I was in a fantastic place mentally during that match, and it was a great moment for my career.

FSA: For most of 2011 you took a break from fighting. Can you talk to us about what happened during that time?

RC: 2011 was a difficult year. I quit because I heard some rumors about K-1 and their bankruptcy. It affected me. I wasn’t getting much support for my career at that time either, so I decided to put fighting on hold for a while. It was a difficult period for me, but that was my fate.

FSA: When you came back in 2012 you started off with Mike’s Gym, then changed over to Chakuriki with Thom Harinck. Why the switch?

RC: I don’t know, but I felt Chakuriki Gym was the right choice.

FSA: Tell us about your relationship with Thom. He often speaks very fondly of you.

RC: Yes, Thom was a great trainer and a fabulous tactician. I really regret that he retired.

FSA: In 2012 you won the Superkombat Grand Prix. What was that feeling like?

RC: Until near the end, 2012 was a great year for me. I became Superkombat champion, I felt in shape and I finally started seeing the results of all my hard work.

FSA: How much has kickboxing grown in Romania since you started?

RC: It’s increased dramatically since I first started. I think in a few years time the Romanian athletes will be among the best in the world.

FSA: Your latest fight was a decision loss against Igor Jurkovic at FFC 3. How do you feel about the judges ruling?

RC: I know that decision wasn’t corect, but I was expecting it because I fought in his home country. It was my fault;I wasn’t in the best shape. I knew beforehand that I couldn’t let the fight go to a decision, and it did.

FSA: Would you like a rematch?

RC: For sure I will ask for rematch soon, but in a neutral country.

FSA: What are your plans for the rest of 2013? Do you have any more fights lined up?

RC: I can’t say anything now, but I’m preparing a big surprise for the end of this year.

FSA: Do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans or sponsors?

RC: I want to thanks everyone who really believed in me!


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Categories: Interview, Kickboxing, SUPERKOMBAT


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One Comment on “FSA Talks with SUPERKOMBAT Star Raul Catinas: “Fate Sent Me Where I’m Supposed to Be””

  1. November 28, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    FSA Talks with SUPERKOMBAT Star Raul Catinas: “Fate Sent Me Where I’m Supposed to Be” | FSA – FightSport Asia
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