Image Credit: ACA MMA
Rafal Haratyk is ready to take advantage of his highest profile matchup to date on an international stage.
The Polish fighter has competed for notable promotions over his seventeen fight career including FEN, EFC and Babilon MMA but in arguably his biggest move yet, made his ACA debut last November. Haratyk (12-3-2) defeated Arbi Agujev by doctor’s stoppage at the end of the first round in a bout which was contested at middleweight. He was pleased to make his promotional debut with a victory and has nothing but good things to say about the company.
“ACA is the best organisation I have ever fought for,” Haratyk told Euro MMA Hub. “There is a very high level of sport competition here. I have competed for a few big shows so am used to working with professional promotions who are efficient but ACA are great.”
That aforementioned victory over Agujev meant that Haratyk extended his winning run to five and he hasn’t tasted defeat since his December 2016 meeting with KSW standout, Dricus Du Plessis. The 33-year-old has never been on a streak that successful before in his professional career, so it is possible he could now be entering his prime competitive years. Haratyk didn’t make any significant, deliberate changes which resulted in his current run but he believes it is a result of more and more experience in the sport.
“As a fighter, I need to learn and improve my skills all of the time to become better,” explained Haratyk. “I didn’t really alter my preparations in a major way before my winning streak but I tweaked some smaller details. I’ve learnt to cut weight better, have developed my strength training and improved my diet. That’s probably why I’m on my way to being a top middleweight in Poland and Europe.”
On Thursday evening at ACA 109, Haratyk is set to take on Polish standout, Piotr Strus, in his second promotional outing. Strus (15-5-2, 1NC) has made a name for himself across the European scene over the years and is a former ACB middleweight title contender. He’s faced the likes of Albert Duraev, Fernando Gonzalez and Jay Silva over his decade long career. A victory over Strus automatically elevates his adversary’s standing so Haratyk is aware of the chance he has infront of him to raise his own status across the continent.
“This fight in Poland is a great opportunity to show the best of myself,” discussed Haratyk. “It’s also a big chance to earn one of my goals – a championship fight. However, I’m not feeling any pressure because I’m almost always the underdog. For sure this is the biggest fight of my career, but will it be the hardest? We will see on August 20!”
“Myself and Strus have very similar skills in my opinion but the fight will show who is better and who had the best preparations,” continued Haratyk. “I think it’s very likely there will be a first round KO or the bout will go the full distance. The winner of the fight will get a shot at the middleweight title from what I’ve been told.”
Despite the possibility of a championship opportunity being given to the winner of Thursday’s contest, Haratyk is totally focused on the task infront of him. He admits that a potential title shot is at the back of his mind but knows that can only become a reality if he gets his hand raised against Strus.