Road to Italian Fighting Championship 1: interview with Walter Pugliesi
Many will know him as the protagonist of a viral video of “I Grassi Satiri”, to the tune of 1 million and 800 thousand views on Facebook. However, Walter Pugliesi (1-0 MMA) is not really an actor, he’s an MMA fighter. Who has the ambition to equalize this exploit of popularity even inside the cage of Italian Fighting Championship, in which he will face Riccardo Maso.
Coming close to the appointment on February 18th, MMA Today had the opportunity to interview the Team Celotto’s athlete in action at the Teatro Principe in Milan.
MMA Today: Italian Fighting Championship will offer the prestigious stage of the Teatro Principe to many emerging talents like you. What should fans expect from Walter Puglisi?
Walter Pugliesi: The people who follow me in my sporting endeavours will see an evolved version of me, with much more experience in every aspect compared to my last fight. Moreover, those who know me a little more are aware of how much I care about all of this.
MT:Did you get the chance to study Riccardo Maso? What kind of a fighter did you think he is?
WP: I saw a couple of Maso’s fights on YouTube, I immediately seemed to understand that he was a striker, in fact I know he also practiced kickboxing or K1.
MT: In regards to IFC, what do you think of the project as a whole?
WP: I like it, I hope it’ll give me the right visibility.
MT: IFC recognizes as its own rankings those produced by MMA Ranking Italia. After beating Maso, do you think you can immediately enter the top 15 at middleweight or have to make your way with other victories?
WP: I think that, at my second fight as a pro, to talk about rankings is a bit premature. I do what I can with smart people on my side, who support me at their best. We’ll see what happens.
MT: You train with Alex Celotto, a veteran of Italian MMA: tell us about your relationship with him.
WP: I’ve known Alex in person since I approached the BJJ world 2 years ago, since then he is my teacher in this discipline along with Luca Pizzamiglio. His experience helps me a lot in order to better organize the preparation for the match, both on a technical and a mentality standpoint. I think he’s the right man at the right time for me in MMA. Moreover, on a personal level, he is a great friend.
MT: You were the protagonist of a video now gone viral of “I Grassi Satiri”: how was this experience? Would you like to repeat it in the future?
WP: It was a deal proposed at the last moment by my striking coach Angelo Valente. I accepted it and in the end I enjoyed it, they even complimented me for my acting. It had a success that I honestly didn’t expect. I’m glad for that but I find it much more rewarding if they recognize me for sporting merits when I walk down the street. I will do everything to make this happen.