While 2014 started off slowly for former UFC veteran Luigi “Italian Tank” Fioravanti, things were able to pull together for him at the end and he closed out the year in strong fashion.
“I would have liked to have fought more, but the thing is fights kept falling through for me at the beginning of the year,” Fioravanti told MMAWeekly.com. “I ended up having surgery and that kind of postponed me from fighting. I was getting ready for that (Battlegrounds MMA) eight-man tournament in June and it got postponed until October.
“Then when I did fight in October, I ended up losing by TKO, but I rebounded back in November with second-round TKO in a K-1 style kickboxing match, and then I got a win (over Ruslan Khaskhanov at M-1 Global) in Russia in December.”
Fioravanti (25-12) will once again head overseas to M-1 for Challenge 55 where he’ll be headlining a bout against Nodar Kuduxashvili (7-1) in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Feb. 21.
While Kuduxashvili might seem to be overmatched by Fioravanti when it comes comparing both fighters’ records, in reality that’s not so much the case.
“The thing is, over there, when you fight in those other countries you can compete as an amateur even if you’re a pro, so he’s got quite a few amateur fights and is well-experienced,” Fioravanti said of Kuduxashvili. “He’s a Sambo guy, and they also do a lot of matches in that throughout the year.
“I think overall with my experience in who I fought in the past and who I train with, I’m all-around a better fighter than he is. With all of that I should be able to get the win.”
With nearly 40 fights in 11 years, Fioravanti has entered the twilight of his career, but that’s okay to him. He plans on enjoying the time he has in the sport, and anything that comes of it is just extra.
“Money is always a motivator, but now it’s kind of about having fun,” said Fioravanti. “Just going out there and enjoying myself more.
“Now that I’m more mature as a fighter and older, I think I’m a little bit smarter with my training and nutrition than I was prior. I think that I’m just a better fighter all-around and I’m just trying to have fun and fight where I can fight.”