We sat down with the young Suriname Light-Heavyweight Donegi Abena. Abena, despite being only 24 years old, already has fought the best of the best in the sport. He is now focussed on his opponent on GLORY Collision 4 on 8 October against Felipe Micheletti.
It's been a while since we've last seen you. How are you doing?
I am good. Training and hard at work. Preparing for a new battle!
I have been quietly waiting for a new opportunity in the last year, now it has finally come. My goal is to win. In the past year I have watched GLORY but have mainly been focused on myself.
A lot happened last year, I will share more information about that soon. You will see that my style has changed a lot. I have changed my philosophy about martial arts. The philosophy of Mike Passenier that I learned as a young man I have slightly adjusted, and you will see what that looks like at GLORY COLLISION 4 on October 8th.
You will fight Felipe Micheletti at GLORY COLLISION 4. What do you think of your opponent?
He is very tall. I last saw him when I was fighting Vakhitov. I thought he was quite big at the time. But I've had that with multiple fighters. As soon as we come face to face, the difference in length is never too bad. I'm curious how it will be this time with Micheletti.
I'm going to be all over him. He's not the most intelligent fighter out there. I’ll confuse him during the fight. I'm going for the KO anyway! I'm not going to force the KO, but I'm going for it. That's what the audience wants to see.
How important is this fight for your career?
Every fight is important. This is the top of the light-heavyweight division. This is a title eliminator in my eyes. The winner of this must fight for the title.
How do you look back on your GLORY career so far?
I've had a lot of learning moments. I'm glad the audience sees what kickboxing is and who the real winner is. The record doesn't make me, it doesn't break me, it doesn't do anything to me. I know for myself that I am the best kickboxer in the world, and I train hard every day to show that.
People are going to remember me as someone who never gave up and still managed to pick up the belt. I'm going to take over the game and dominate. In addition, I have all the time, I am only 24. I was 21 when I fought against Vakhitov and Pereira and managed to put in a great performance.
I sum up my career as an uncrowned king. I feel like I should have already stood with the title.
GLORY COLLISION 4 also features the light-heavyweight title fight between Maslobojev and Khbabez. What do you think of that fight?
I respect both gentlemen. However, I would have liked to have fought the rematch with Maslobojev for the title. I'm going to meet them eventually, so we'll see what the future brings.
Because they are both hard workers, the fight is about 'Who wants it more'. Just show who has the best gas tank. One is not much better than the other, it is about who wants it more.
Outside of kickboxing, do you have hobbies?
I like to read books. Mainly about self-development. If I had to give anyone a book, it would be 'The Alchemist'. That book will open your eyes and you will be different in life. But I can name dozens more.
How did you get started in kickboxing?
I didn’t know anything about martial arts when I was young. I fought on the streets, that was it. Until a friend of mine invited me to come along at a kickboxing gym, then I never left.
On the street, you fight for pride. I think you can see that in my kickboxing style now. You used to think, "Could this guy beat me". The only way to test it is to fight and see what the result is. Losing is not important, as long as you fight. I also lost once on the street. Then I got a little older and then I showed who’s boss.
What do you want to say to the GLORY fans?
GLORY COLLISION 4 on October 8th. Modonation! It's going to be a banger! A KO!
Come and have a look and get your tickets!
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