Any fan of K-1 or Dream is familiar with the bulldog-like expression of Mike Passenier. As the lead coach at Mike’s Gym, Passenier is the man behind two of kickboxing’s most popular stars today – Badr Hari and Melvin Manhoef. With his ferocious pre-fight pep talks, Passenier has become perhaps the most instantly recognizable coach today, and he backs up that notoriety with a dedication that translates to success for his fighters.
FansofK1 recently posted an excellent Passenier interview where he shows what a strong strategic mind he has for the game. Topics include his response to Bonjasky’s victory over Manhoef and the Final 16, thoughts on Hari v. Karaev 3, seeing the Mike’s Gym logo in the Octagon, and the cancellation of Hari v. Hoost, among others.
Interviewer: Badr Hari fought the main fight against Zabit Samedov. Did you expect it to go this fast and easy?
Mike: Every opponent of Badr is taken seriously and thoroughly analyzed in order to create a gameplan. Samedov has never been KO’d, so that’s a thing to keep in mind. What I noticed was that Zabit was very dynamic and agile, he can come at you from every angle with kicks and punches. So I said to Badr: You know what we’re gonna do? We’re gonna win this one on lowkicks. Everybody knows you can punch. But nobody knows you can kick as well. And with the second hard lowkick his opponent collapsed. Taking lowkicks is not an option, because they hurt like hell. Trying to block them is useless, because then you’ll receive them on your rear leg. That’s how you stop a moving opponent. And the fact he KO’d his opponent with a nice body shot proves once again that Badr can box. The great thing about someone like Badr is, he makes it look simple, while there is this entire process in advance.
Read the complete interview here.