This morning marks the return of the great Remy Bonjasky at the sophomore event for the Glory kickboxing promotion in Brussels. It's been three years since we last saw Remy in action, and his return is highly anticipated by fans all over the globe. The former 3 time world champion will be taking on Anderson "Braddock" Silva, and will be the card's main event. I managed to get a quick interview with him earlier today, where he talked about his return and nemesis, Badr Hari.
Stephie Daniels: How's your eye?
Remy Bonjasky: I had a retina detachment. It's actually a little irritated right now, but its OK. I had four operations since 2001, so I became champion even while having a retinal detachment.
Stephie Daniels: Was it a gradual thing, or one specific punch?
Remy Bonjasky: Not a specific punch, because during sparring, you are always being hit in the face, so I cant say which specific punch, but I am sure it was from a punch.
Stephie Daniels: Why did you take three years away?
Remy Bonjasky: If you look at the situation with K-1, I stopped fighting in 2009 and then after 2010, the K-1 was stopped and personally I think that its all over now. You look at this new organisation, GLORY, and everything is changing. Big things are happening right now and its the time to comeback. I don't want to wait four, five years where I would be too old. I am 36 now and I still have a lot of potential left.
Stephie Daniels: Are you coming back more for the money, or because you miss fighting and feel you have something to prove?
Remy Bonjasky: Ha! We will see tomorrow.
Stephie Daniels: How does it feel to be one of the last of the old guard of K-1's glory days?
Remy Bonjasky: Well I don't look at it that way, but if you put it that way, maybe it is. Well, Semmy is still going, but he doesn't have that charisma like Peter and Ernesto did. Like those guys, I think I bring something special to the ring. Maybe there's some truth to what you say.
Stephie Daniels: Jammal Ben Saddik is on Saturday's card. He turned 22 just Thursday and he is hungry. He was asked how he felt being on the card with you and he said 'Meh, Remy is finished. His time is passed, give him to me and I will knock him out. I will knock any of the old guys out.' What do you think of that?
Remy Bonjasky: Ha! Well, for a young fighter like that, its always good to say ‘Hey, let me fight one of the legends', because he has nothing to lose. If he fought me, and I beat him up, then everyone would say ‘Ah, he is still a young guy, he's not got the experience', but if he beat me, then he has beaten a big star. I was a youngster once as well and I said the same things, ‘I want to fight anyone who comes in my path' and blah blah blah. That's when you are young and while I don't respect what he says, I can relate to it. I understand.
Stephie Daniels: Did you get all your money from K-1, or did you get shafted like a lot of other fighters?
Remy Bonjasky: They paid me. I always got my money. My contract was good. Even before I fought, I had the money. Some fighters had in their contract that three months after the event they would get the money but - pfft! - not for me. I got mine in advance.
Stephie Daniels: What are your thoughts on the K-1 decline?
Remy Bonjasky: It is sad, it is. At one time it was the biggest thing in fighting, the most special occasion. In Japan and Asia, it was just the biggest. And for K-1 to go like this is just sad.
Stephie Daniels: Did you ever think of moving to Pride FC, like CroCop did?
Remy Bonjasky: Not at all. It was never for me. It's like someone going from tennis to badminton. For me there's like four or five fighters that can make the transition and the rest cannot. I don't have any interest in jiu jitsu or wrestling. For me, it's stand-up fighting. That's what I do, and that's what I like.
Stephie Daniels: You had that jiu jitsu moment with Badr in one of the tournaments, though.
Remy Bonjasky: Haha! That's not a jiu jitsu moment! That's playing soccer and grabbing the ball with your hands.
Stephie Daniels: What do you think of Badr's current situation?
Remy Bonjasky: Well, that is his problem. What can I say? Its not my thing. Everybody knew that something like this would happen. I think that is his character. I think he is going over the top. It shouldn't happen.
Stephie Daniels: Would you fight him again?
Remy Bonjasky: I would fight anyone. If you have done your penance then yeah, its no problem
Stephie Daniels: Would you LIKE to fight him again?
Remy Bonjasky: I would fight anyone.
Stephie Daniels: Is there anyone else you would like to get revenge on, rematch, etc?
Remy Bonjasky: Well there's no one I want revenge on. I have done a lot, and I am happy. There's not really anyone that keeps me awake at night. And new guys? Danyo Ilunga is great. In two years, he will be the top guy. Wait and see what he does. (Note: Danyo is his student)