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Andreas Ståhl defends belt in his hometown: “There’s a hunger for combat sports in Umeå”



Andreas Ståhl MMA BoB

Andreas Ståhl. Photo by: Tomasz Piwinski / Käftsmällspodden and Instagram (@antestahl)

Swedish welterweight veteran Andreas”Real Steel” Ståhl is in a good place in his career. As champion in two organization’s – Superior Challenge and Battle of Botnia – he’s a crafty and well respected veteran on the European MMA scene.

The Swedish 35-year-old claims he only has a couple of more scraps in him, which means that he’s appreciating every fight even more. On Saturday December 9, “Real Steel” will defend his Battle of Botnia title on his home turf in Umeå and he’s looking forward to every moment in the cage.

“It will be awesome! I made my debut at Battle of Botnia in Umeå back in 2009 and it means so much to fight on my hometurf again,” Ståhl says.

The 35-year-old won the belt in May in front of a sold out Luleå crowd with a stellar performance against Brazil’s Gabriel Barreiro.

“The fans in Luleå were something else, it’s better than the cards I fought on in the rest of Sweden and Europe. There were so many people wanting to see a good sports event and support their local fighters. In Umeå I expect an even louder crowd.”

Umeå is a crazy place for MMA

It’s definitely something special going on in Umeå at the moment. With just over 93.000 inhabitants, the local scene is flourishing. In fact, no fewer than seven fighters from Umeå compete on December 2, which definitely must be seen as a sign of strength.

“Every time there is an MMA event it’s sold out. It’s almost sold out already, 2000 tickets two weeks before the event. People from all over Norrland will show up,” Ståhl says. “There’s a hunger for combat sports in Umeå, and it’s been building up for some time with the Battle of Botnia and fighters like Tor Troéng. A lot of people have been on the journey from the start.”

Photo via Battle if Botnia

Andreas Ståhl takes one fight at the time

As Max Denner recently pulled out of the fight, former Bellator MMA and OKTAGON MMA fighter Kirill Medvedovsky has accepted the challenge of taking on the Swede on his hometurf.

“I was stressed when I found out that Denner pulled out. I really looked forward to fighting him. A good fighter with a good record and former champion of Jungle Fight. It’s hard to find an replacement for a fighter like that in ust two weeks,” Ståhl says and continues:

“However, the very same day I got a new opponent who’s in good shape, with more than 30 professional fights, four in Bellator. He’s fought some top ranked European fighters. I wanted a worthy opponent since I fight for the belt, and I’m happy they found someone who could step up on short notice.”

Does the new opponent change your preparations?

“The guy reminds me of Denner, he’s a BJJ black belt. Grappling is the foundation of his game, just like Denner. I will just keep on going!”

Read more: Sadibou Sy is ready to win his second PFL title and bag another $1 million: “I will always look for a finish”

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