Road to Cage Warriors 96: interview with Roberto Allegretti
The opportunities of a lifetime, there are those who catches them on the fly as soon as they arise, those who brood over it and then let them slip away and never see them again. Roberto Allegretti (3-0 MMA) definitely belongs to the first category, as evidenced by his enthusiastic assent to challenge Nicolas Dalby (14-3-1 MMA) this Saturday at Cage Warriors 96. A tough contest to say the least against a high level fighter level in Europe, “the realization of a dream” for the Campanian fighter inside the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
A few days before the fight, “Minotauro” has accepted to answer MMA Today’s questions.
MMA Today: How did the offer to fight in Cage Warriors come about? What has impressed the British promotion the most about you in order to give you this great chance?
Roberto Allegretti: Actually it is not the first offer I had from Cage Warriors. Through my management (Luca Messina and Samuele Sanna) I have been made others. Unfortunately, through injuries, commitments, the complex protocol of visits required, I preferred to decline favoring the inclusion of my friend and athlete Orlando D’Ambrosio. Three weeks ago, I received the proposal to face another fighter, always on the Cage Warriors roster, but the opposing team didn’t accept, then there was Nicolas Dalby. I said to myself “when it’s going to happen again that I’ll face one of my myths?”: I am almost 39 years old, I train every single day, I took my boys to the big stages, why not give myself this opportunity? Of course, Cage Warriors and all the staff know of our seriousness, professionalism, and that we get into the cage to fight. I believe these are more than valid reasons.
MT: As we saw in the fight against Pedersoli, Nicolas Dalby is absolutely competitive in Europe, with the concrete ambition to return to the UFC. What is your opinion about him as a fighter and as a person, if you’ve got the chance to know him?
RA: I met Nicolas Dalby after the fight against Carlo because I was there. The part of the brash guy and the provocateur hides a great fighter, he made a big good luck wish to Carlo that I will never forget. I have a great respect and fighting him with him already repays everything, then consider that it’ll be at Cage Warriors, you do the math…
MT: The news of this bout has surprised several fans, especially for the experience gap on the card between you and your next opponent. Many see you as the clear underdog, is it a prediction that has motivated you particularly during the training camp?
RA: In three weeks you can’t prepare an adequate camp to face a top fighter, what you can do is elaborate strategic assumptions to express your potential in the cage. Of course, the competitive resume of my opponent stacks the odds against me, but those who know me well are aware that it is at least a decade that I put on gloves, without forgetting that I have been immersed in contact sports for twenty years. I train with anyone, I travel all over Italy, I have made good fighters out of my team. To sum up, not a day passes that I don’t fight or train with someone.
MT: In Cage Warriors as well on other occasions we saw you side by side with Orlando D’Ambrosio. Will he be in your corner for the fight against Dalby? Can you anticipate us if we’d able to see him in action as soon as possible?
RA: Orlando D’Ambrosio will certainly be in my corner, as he was in the last 3 fights I had. I want him to suffer as much as I do when he is in the cage (laughs, ed), I want him to understand that you never give up and that dreams are realized by staying the course. Of course you will see him again in CW, ourselves and our management have been sweating all of this out, I think they will still believe in us.
MT: Do you intend to fight again after Liverpool or do you plan to focus mainly on your job as a coach?
RA: Liverpool is the realization of a dream, I had everything I could hope for from competing in MMA. With this match I will hit a stage that currently no more than 20 Italians have had the opportunity to know. I just want to have a good fight and come back to my family. I don’t know if I will step back into the cage (although I have already received offers), I know that I will certainly be close to my team and the boys, to bring higher level opportunities to them and spread the MMA culture in my homeland.