Credit: Fabio Barbieri Photography

Road to Venator Kingdom 2: interview with Cristian Magro

The 36 year old coming from Biella is going for the Venator's middleweight title, standing in his way is Pietro Penini

The last time we saw Cristian Magro (9-4 MMA, 2-1 VFC) in a cage was a year and a half ago at Venator 3. On that occasion, he obtained a clear and fast victory against Giuseppe Ruotolo in what has been the biggest event of the Italian promotion so far. At Venator Kingdom 2 we will see him come back to fight for the chance of a lifetime, the match against the undefeated Pietro Penini for the Venator middleweight title.

A few days before the match, Cristian has found some time to answer some of our questions, for which we thank him infinitely. Your words to you:

MMA TODAY: Alex Dandi has recently said that you are a fighter who feels almost pleased in facing very high level opponents. Does Pietro Penini fall into this category?

Cristian Magro: Of course, Alex knows me very well. I never liked easy matches. Yes, Pietro fits perfectly in that category because he is an excellent fighter, a true professional who trains several times during the day, going to different gyms in Italy and abroad.

MT: What kind of an opponent is Penini and how can he be dealt with?

CM: Pietro is complete and constantly growing. I must always be ready in all circumstances.

MT: Many, looking at your match, have pointed out the big difference in age with your opponent. Do you think your greater experience will allow you to win? Are you afraid, in a sense, of the fact that your opponent can instead focus on physical endurance and speed?

CM: Yes, if I’m not mistaken, there are 12 years of difference. I’m feeling all of my age but I’m not afraid of this gap.

MT: You have been repeatedly called a gatekeeper of the Italian middleweight division and now you have a title shot. What does this mean to you? In case of victory would you feel like you’ve “made it” or is there anything else you want to achieve in your career?

CM: I’m very happy that the prez Merenda gave me this title shot, it’s been since the first Venator that I’ve been dreaming of that belt. For me it has immense value, now more than ever given the events of my private life. I made a promise and I will do everything to keep it.

MT: Your 4 career defeats came only at the hands of opponents with positive records, two of which are highly-touted names like Mattia Schiavolin and Alessio Di Chirico. What do you think about both of them and their respective careers?

CM: Alessio and Mattia are two fighters whom I respect a lot. Mattia is recovering from a medical procedure but I’m sure he’ll be back soon and earn satisfying results. Alessio is getting ready for his next match in UFC, also on December 16th. I see he’s getting ready in a great way and I’m sure he will give us great moments. Come on Manzo!

MT: Within a few years, the world of Italian MMA has developed a lot, producing more and more competitive athletes even on an international level. Is it an analysis you would share? What name of emerging athlete that you know we must note down?

CM: Yes, in the last two years the level of MMA in Italy has grown so much, in fact we have  3 athletes in UFC (Vettori, Di Chirico, Borella), Sakara in Bellator, Scatizzi in Brave. Many fighers are making experiences abroad with very positive results like Mauro Cerilli, the new Cage Warriors heavyweight champion. If we continue like this, we will be more and more competitive in the world and, who knows, maybe we will finally see a UFC event in Italy. Regarding the name that ought to be mentioned, remember Nicolò Solli, born in 1994, 2 months ago he moved to Dublin at the SBG. I’m sure you’ll hear about him.

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