The Quad City Silverbacks are looking for another IFL title this year and Mike Ciesnolevicz is major factor in their conquest. Coming off four straight wins, Ciesnolevicz is riding a wave that will hopefully bring him and his team to the IFL Finals on September 20, 2007 in Hollywood, Florida. Standing in his way is Alex Schoenauer and the Los Angeles Anacondas. The Silverbacks fell to the Anacondas earlier this year but Ciesnolevicz believes it will be different this time around. Here is what he told ADCC News.
ADCC: Mike talk about your last fight against Adam Maciejewski at IFL Chicago? MIKE: Adam was a bull! He was a really strong guy and a big light-heavyweight. He had great wrestling and controlled the first round on me. I made him work to take me down and I defended well from the bottom. I could feel him fading as the fight went on into the second round. When I saw my opportunity, I turned the tables. I wasn’t tired at all.
ADCC: How important for you is it to be coming off a victory heading towards your semi-final math up against the Anacondas? MIKE: I’m actually coming off four IFL wins in a row and it feels great! I built up some serious momentum and I do not want to stop now.
ADCC: You will have a rematch with the Anacondas and Alex Schoenauer. You beat him in February but your team lost the battle. What will the team have to differently in order for you guys to be in the finals? MIKE: I think we just need to stay injury free and stay sharp technically. It wasn’t like we got dominated before. That decision with Bart (Palaszewski) and (Chris) Horodecki could have easily gone our way. It was a toss up last time and hopefully this time we can end it with no controversy.
ADCC: Your victory over Alex was a split decision. In your opinion was that the right call and did you see something from the fight tape that you think you may be able to finish the fight this time? MIKE: No, actually I thought Alex won. Just kidding! I think I deserved a unanimous decision but it was a war. He’s a great competitor and really has some well rounded skills. He’s no push over for anyone. I expect another war this time.
ADCC: It also seems like your team will be getting Rory Markham back for the semi-finals. What does it mean to have him back and what does he bring to the team? MIKE: Rory’s capable of beating anyone at 170 (pounds), so having him in the lineup is huge for our confidence and he brings a certain attitude to the team. Everyone thinks he’s just a knockout artist but he’s very well rounded. I wouldn’t rather have anyone else at 170 (pounds) for the Silverbacks.
ADCC: I know our not looking past the Anacondas but who would you like to face in the next round? You could be facing either Jamal Patterson or Vladimir Matyushenko. How do both fighter match up with you? MIKE: They are both extremely tough and two of the top guys in the league at 205 (pounds). I am actually a fan of the way they fight. They both showed me a lot of skill and they are true professionals. I think I might have an x-factor that could help me beat either one of those guys. I don’t care who we fight. The most important thing is for the Silverbacks to three peat as champions.
ADCC: What happens in your fight on August second and more importantly, do the Silverbacks get a chance to repeat in the finals? MIKE: Bottom line is I win and I don’t care how either. I want to win and any way possible. I expect a dominating performance out of the Silverbacks. We have never been more ready as a team.
ADCC: If your team doesn’t get to defend the 2006 team championship, is this season a failure? MIKE: Well in a way yes but everyone loses and we have been on top until this point. We might have lost back in February to the Anacondas but we are still the defending world champions from last year. I can’t see us losing on August 2nd but worse case scenario, if by some freak chance we do, we just get right back on the horse and keep battling into the grand prix and next year.
ADCC: Thanks for talking with us Mike and we wish you the best of luck in the semi-finals. Do you have anything to say to your fans or sponsors? MIKE: I just want to thank everyone who supports the IFL and MMA in general. I hope you guys can make it out August 2nd! Everyone check out www.ifl.tv and as for sponsors, I got Headblade, Gamma-o and MFS Canada! A big thanks and shout out to those guys!