Image Credit: ACA MMA
Piotr Strus believes a title shot is just around the corner if he can emerge victorious in the ACA 109 main event.
He is scheduled to headline the show, which takes place in Lodz, Poland on Thursday evening, against fellow Polish middleweight, Rafal Haratyk. Strus (15-5-2, 1NC) has established himself as one of the most notable names on the European scene and any fighter who picks up a win against him has their own stock and status immediately elevated. Haratyk (12-3-2) is currently showing the best form of his career but Strus is arguably a step-up from the skill level he has been competing against recently. The 31-year-old, Strus, isn’t underestimating his opponent in any way and is very aware of where a win could place him in the ACA division.
“Rafal is a tough guy and he has a very specific style,” Strus told Euro MMA Hub. “I hope that he is well prepared and that we give the best fight of the night. It will be a tricky bout in my opinion. For me, it doesn’t matter how I win. I’ve just got one target and that is to get my hand raised! I know the winner of this fight will compete for the title.”
Some have suggested that Haratyk will have extra motivation for Thursday’s contest because many years ago, Strus beat his current coach in a professional bout. Strus thinks that this could very well be the case even though the situation is often played down because of the nature of the victory. He won the bout via TKO due to a knee injury and still views the win as somewhat legitimate.
Strus’ preparations were disturbed slightly for this contest because his team had to all stay apart and at their own homes for the first week of his training camp. However, the KSW veteran knew that he still had to put in the necessary work to be ready for the fight. He tried to train alone at first but that wasn’t working, so his team got back together in secret and continued preparing as normal during the COVID-19 initial outbreak.
The former ACB title challenger runs his own businesses outside of the cage which means he has many ventures in his life he has to manage and maintain. Strus admits that some of these suffered during the pandemic but he acknowledged that this is the case for many people during these times. He’s also delving into the CBD world and is starting a new brand called ‘Forbidden Fruit’ which he is excited and enthusiastic about. The Polish fighter knows there are challenges to try and keep so many different plates spinning, but he is getting by as best as he can.
“It is not easy trying to satisfy everything that I have going on in my life,” Strus stated. “I very often don’t have time to do everything I need to. However, on the other hand, it’s my way of maintaining the balance between sport and normal life.”
To add to his already busy schedule, Strus and his wife are expecting a child over the coming months. Strus is very excited about the upcoming arrival but knows it carry’s a huge responsibility. He won’t magically get more time to manage his other interests so will need to adapt his own life further in one way or another. Strus is waiting to see what his day-to-day schedule will look like and knows the arrival of a baby will be a completely new experience for himself and his wife.
Thursday’s main event will be Strus’ tenth fight with ACA and he’s shared the cage with the likes of Fernando Gonzalez, Albert Duraev and Ibragim Chuzhigaev while with the promotion. He loves working for the organisation and is delighted they take care of their athletes, providing them with everything they need. Strus is twenty-three fights into his professional career but one of his short-term objectives doesn’t have anything to do with competition.
“At the moment, I am focusing on my upcoming bout,” discussed Strus. “We will see what happens after this event. I promised my wife that following the fight, I will stay at home until the end of the year and help her with our son. That is my main goal for now. The new year will bring new goals though and I hope everything goes as I expect it to!”