Mike Tyson once said that he had to hate his opponents, and believe that they hated him too, in order to step into the ring and brutally knock them out. This, of course, is not a rule, as most of the time, combat sports are filled with demonstrations of mutual respect and appreciation. However, every now and then, fierce rivalries emerge and athletes use the conflict as motivation.
That seems to be the case in the upcoming BRAVE CF 51, which will pit two of the best fighters in their respective countries against one another: the season veteran Lucas “Mineiro” Martins, from Brazil, and the European standout Marcel Grabinski, from Germany.
Over the course of the weeks leading up to their fight in Minsk, Mineiro and Grabinski engaged in a war of words through media, which added a hint of personal business to their professional encounter inside the BRAVE CF Arena.
It all started with Marcel Grabinski’s take on the current distribution of power in Mixed Martial Arts nowadays. “I don’t think it’s just Europe against Brazil, I think it’s Europe against the world. I believe the best fighters in the world are from Europe right now. I think the European fighters are better than the Brazilian fighters and the rest of the world. It's Europe against Brazil and Europe will win,” he said.
This statement, of course, brought up a sense of national pride for Lucas Martins. But it was what the German youngster said about Mineiro himself that got the Brazilian veteran to come forward and reply.
“Lucas comes from two losses and his last fight was 2 years ago. I know it's hard to come from loss and especially from two losses. It will be hard for him especially since he doesn't know fighters like me, it will be very hard for him, it will be his third loss,” Grabinski fired.
“When he sees Lucas "Mineiro" in front of him, he will see everything I have trained, everything I have achieved in the sport and he will feel my pressure,” Lucas replied. “He has never gone through what I’ve gone through. He has never fought the people I’ve fought. He has never done what I’ve done, and he doesn’t have the mindset that I have”.
Most recently, Martins and Grabinski sent some sort of an “ultimatum” to each other, a type of final warning ahead of their much-anticipated clash inside the cage.
“Lucas, you better be ready. Watch my fight against Issa Isakov, my boxing is much better than yours. Keep your hands up and train very hard these final days,” Grabinski said.
To which, Mineiro responded: “If you strike, I’ll knock you out. If you try jiu-jitsu, I’ll submit you. If you try to wrestle me, I will take you down. When you look at me inside the cage, you will know who I am.”
Lucas Martins and Marcel Grabinski will set their feud inside the cage on June 4th, in Minsk, Belarus, at BRAVE CF 51, but the war of words ahead of it doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. The event, in association with Rukh Sport Management (RSM) marks the debut of the truly global MMA promotion in Belarus, the 22nd country to ever host an edition of BRAVE Combat Federation.