When Germany's Dennis Siver steps into the Octagon this Saturday he will have nearly everyone in the König Pilsener Arena on his side. He will be facing "The Ultimate Fighter" finalist Andre Winner as part of the televised portion of at "UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami." And while Siver has accomplished quite a bit in his nine previous UFC fights, his tenth fight could be the one that changes how fans all over the world view him.
Siver may not be the household name that other tough-as-nails fighters his ilk have become, but with an impressive win over Winner the Russian-born scrapper could quickly become known as one of the toughest guys in one of the toughest divisions in all of the sport. Already with wins over Nate Mohr, Paul Kelly, and Spencer Fisher on his resume Siver has made quite an impression on the UFC brass, earning him an opportunity to fight in front of his home crowd as the UFC continues its growth across Europe.
MMA Spot's Andrew Yount caught up with Dennis prior to his bout to discuss the slugger's upcoming bout, his award winning fighting style, and being an ambassador for the sport in Germany.
MMA Spot: How do you feel coming in to next week's fight with Andre Winner?
I feel really good. My preparation is going quite well and I'm really looking forward to fighting in Germany. Andre is a really strong fighter, but in the end, the best man wins. Hopefully, it's me.
MMA Spot: Does Winner bring anything special to the fight that you have had to adjust your training for?
Well, of course, he has great boxing skills and his reach advantage is enormous. So I'm working on a game plan.
MMA Spot: Where do you see your biggest advantage in this fight?
I'm a well rounded fighter. I can punch and kick out of any angle. I have powerful kicks and knock out power.
MMA Spot: How do you see the fight playing out?
Of course, I can beat Andre. But as I have mentioned, he is a really good fighter. And you will never know how a fight will end. We will see who the better fighter is on this evening. But it would make me really happy, to beat him in front of the German crowd.
MMA Spot: After nine UFC fights it seems that most fans have finally started to take notice of your ability. Have you purposely sought to put on the best show, or is winning still the most important thing?
Winning is the number one priority. I'm not a big show man. I'm a fighter, not an entertainer. I want to entertain people with my fights and with knock outs. I still think some people underrate me, but I want to show everybody that I'm improving myself on every fight. Hopefully, I will get the title one day.
MMA Spot: How does it feel to know you will be fighting on the main card in your home country?
It makes me really proud that the UFC believes in me. Being on the main card is an honor for every fighter. And fighting in my home country motivates me even more to get the "Knockout Of The Night" bonus.
MMA Spot: Will you have many people in the arena supporting you?
I really hope so. All of my friends and training partners will be there to support me and the sport. Unfortunately, the sport is not accepted in Germany, there is a lot of bad press. But we are planning to promote and support the sport even more, to clarify. And hopefully, the UFC takes place in Germany soon again.
MMA Spot: We have seen the growth of the sport in Ireland and England. Why has Germany not seen the same type of growth recently?
Unfortunately, there are still bad rumors within the press that the sport is so violent and brutal. But there are MMA gyms that have opened in 2010. The sport is so great, even for managers or teachers. It is such a great workout for your body and mind. You don't have to fight in the cage, if you don't want to.
MMA Spot: Do you look at yourself as an ambassador for MMA in Germany?
Surveys have shown that I'm the most famous and successful German MMA fighter internationally. In some way, I see myself as an ambassador. That's the reason we are planning a promotional campaign in 2011, to support the sport in Germany.
check out the rest of the interview HERE