Excerpts from LIVE IG by Dorin Damir and Vitalie Matei. Text Version.
In yesterday’s IG LIVE Dorin Damir and Vitalie Matei talked about Vitalie’s upbringing and his fight against Sorin Calinuc.
I was born in the village of Niscani, Calarasi district. After 9th grade I moved to Chisinau, studied carpentry at the vocational school nr.3. In 2003 I entered a kickboxing and Muay Thai gym and never exited it. My first coach was Sergey Kubishev.
Also, I got in the University of Physical Education and Sports, graduated, I’m a certified trainer. And now I practice both professions (Vitaly also owns a furniture company). I’m married, have two children, a boy and a girl.
Will your kids follow in your footsteps?
My daughter is the creative type. We tried to enroll her in different kinds of sports, but it didn’t work out. My son is 3 and a half years old at the moment, so far, I think he likes sports, I hope that “Matei” last name will be heard in the ring over and over again.
A few words about your last fight, which happened on the 31st of May, against Sorin Caliniuc?
I was very well prepared for this fight. He stayed in block most of the match, which is logical, because he was the champion and tried to defend his belt. He didn’t really fight with me, only answered to my attacks. I don’t care about the record, I only want to fight, even though is risky, he didn’t give me this chance, always ran away. Perhaps I didn’t do my job properly because I couldn’t open him, maybe he did his job well, because he defended the title. I didn’t fell defeated, didn’t sense the competition, as opposed to the last FEA pyramid where we really engaged, fell down, got back up on our feet, continued fighting and so on.
Discussing Vitalie’s fight against Erdem Dincer, and the revival of HEROES project.
After your first fight from the last FEA Kickboxing pyramid, the Turkish fighter protested his defeat. Tell me about this match.
During the preparation process I suffered an injury to my right leg, which was the leg I was supposed to attack with according to his guard position. I tried it anyway and I understood that it could end badly, so I tried to change it up. I won the first round, lost the second. After I was counted down, I didn’t care about anything, I understood that I have nothing to lose anymore. So, I started working at full potential, from every possible angle. Didn’t allow him to work with his legs, since they were his main weapon. Thankfully, they gave us an extra round, because without it, the result wasn’t clear. And the extra round was certainly on my side.
As a trainer, what do you think about the HEROES project, which will serve as a platform for the young fighters to try themselves in a professional cage or ring?
I think it’s a great idea, speaking from my own experience, because you can’t compare the amateur ring to the professional one. It doesn’t mater if a fighter is a European or world champion. It’s a god idea for the new generation of fighters, even for us, the trainers, to see the fighter’s limits, what he’s capable of. He could be physically ready, but psychologically might not be the case. So, the project would be the first step to see if the athlete is ready to go pro or not, and the selection of candidates for the FEA KICKBOXING project, or other professional organizations will be easier.
Tell me about your experience as a trainer. Doesn’t it affect your fighter’s career?
No, it only helps in educating and supporting the next generation. Many parents, when they enroll their children in martial arts schools, ask me: “Won’t they get into fights outside of the gym?”. The answer is, no. It actually helps them control their emotions, it makes them aware of their strength and what they could do with it. And about the public perception and stereotypes about fighters in our country. Why don’t you try and talk with me, and only then draw your own conclusions? I’m just like every other man, no matter the profession, fighter, shepherd or tractor driver.
You’re 35 years old, how do you feel? And how many any years further do you plan to continue your career?
I expected this question. I heard many times. I feel great, I still have the strength to do what I do. I can’t give a precise number. I’ll do it until I’ll feel that I can’t anymore, and even then, I’ll follow this path as a coach. But at the present time I feel excellent, and I confidently move forward.
A message for all the viewers, fighters, children, parents, fans?
For all athletes, you have to work hard for what you want, nobody is going to do it for you. For the parents, allow your children to practice whatever they enjoy and try to help them through their hardships. For the fans, keep on supporting us, because without you we wouldn’t have a platform to display our abilities on. And for all people in general, I wish you good health, follow us, we’ll try our best to entertain you, practice sports, it’s very good for you.