Over the last couple of years, inactivity has plagued former UFC welterweight Luigi Fioravanti. Even after returning to fighting in 2013 after a two-year layoff, Fioravanti has still yet to find the kind of consistent output he’d found in years past, but not all due to choice.
Earlier this year, Fioravanti was to participate in Battlegrounds MMA’s single-night 170-pound tournament when it was delayed several months, leading to what became a 12-month layoff.
“It was tough to do that and not really plan for that one style of fighting,” Fioravanti told MMAWeekly.com. “Everyone’s got their own little styles. I thought I prepared well. I felt like I was well-rounded enough to face anyone in the tournament.”
Fioravanti ended up facing a mostly unheralded Joe Ray in the first round of the Battlegrounds tournament with disastrous results.
“I ended up getting TKO’d in the first round, which sucks,” said Fioravanti. “I knew Joe was a good Muay Thai guy, but I felt I had the better boxing, the better hands, better wrestling and better ground, so I tried to grind on him against the cage, but I made a mistake.
“He took advantage of me dropping my head when I shouldn’t have and snapped a knee and rocked me and threw two more knees and dropped me with that.”
Fioravanti (24-12) will look to get back on track when he returns to M-1 for the first time in three years as part of the M-1 Challenge 54 event in St. Petersburg, Russia, against Ruslan Khaskhanov (16-8).
“He seems primarily a grappler, and that’s fine because I train with some pretty good grapplers where I’m at now,” said Fioravanti of Khaskhanov. “I think I’m going to try to keep the fight standing, bang it out a little bit, and maybe do some sprawl-and-brawl.”
While he’s still relatively young at 33 years old, Fioravanti doesn’t see himself fighting for a whole lot longer, which makes next year a bit of a mystery in terms of where his career is headed.
“I’m just trying to fight as much as I can,” he said. “I feel I’ve got another year of fighting left and then we’ll see from there.
“I’m starting to feel it as I’m getting older. I really don’t know what 2015 holds for me. I’m just going to take it one fight at a time.”