Image Credit: Gregorio La Torre
The MMA world’s eyes will be on the long-awaited trilogy heavyweight bout between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic at UFC 252 on August 15. However, in terms of Italian Mixed Martial Arts, Gregorio ‘Grenade’ Davide La Torre is set to compete at BRAVE CF 39 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The 30-year-old fighter from the Greater Milan Metro Area will enter the cage for the first time since July 2019, when he lost by TKO in the first round against Shoaib Yousaf at Caged Steel 23 in Sheffield, UK. Unfortunately, a fight against British athlete, Dan Collins, was cancelled just a few minutes before starting due to riots in the audience at Victory Fights 5 last November in Brighton, UK. So the match with Yousaf for La Torre was the only one in the last 21 months. The former national division I Italian boxer has an MMA pro record of 5-3 and 4-2 as an amateur. He won the Bronze Medal at IMMAF 2015 World Championship in Las Vegas. As a professional, he has finished all of his five wins, 3 by submission and 2 by KO.
The fight will be streamed on Saturday evening for free in Europe on bravecftv.com.
Euro MMA Hub talked to Gregorio about this fight but also about his future:
“I’ve been in Sweden for 2 months but this training camp has lasted about a year,” stated La Torre. “My girlfriend is Swedish and an MMA fighter too. I like to stay here as it’s a lovely country and MMA is very popular. Also, a lot of girls are fighters. It’s possible to train very well here and it’s easy to find good sparring partners.”
What do you know about your opponent?
“Really not a lot. I’ve seen some videos of him. I know he is a former thai boxer and a strong striker. He has a 4-0 record in professional MMA and all of his wins have come by KO. Three were in the first round and one of them was in Cage Warriors. I haven’t seen him fighting on the ground. I expect an aggressive fighter. On the other hand, I think that I am a well-rounded fighter. I have 2 wins by KO and 3 by submission.”
Did you have some problems preparing for the fight due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
“Well, when the pandemic started, I went back to Italy from Paris, where I train at MMA factory. So until June, I was able to do only physical training. Then I came here to train with my girlfriend at SPR gym of Waldo Zapata and I got the opportunity to fight in BRAVE CF. I feel ready for the fight.”
As you just said, you are an MMA Factory Team member. Could you join ARES FC in the future as many at the gym, like Danilo Belluardo, recently have?
“Believe me, I don’t really know. Regardless of how this fight goes, I will have to think a lot about my future. I have a good relationship with my coach, Fernand Lopez, and he’s also my manager. Fernand is the sport director of ARES FC but I want to fight more often. He doesn’t agree. After the fight, I’ll go back home to stay with my family for a few days and then I’ll decide what to do for the near future.”