“His hand flew into my head, then I had a dream as if I was sleeping at night,” recalls David Dvořák’s fatal blow, after which he fell to the ground over the weekend. He managed to strike, but even with a solid conclusion, the referee was unconvinced and eventually left the cage with the first loss in almost ten years and the first failure in the UFC. “Hrobník” spoke with TV Nova in Hradec Králové, where he also met world boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk, who stayed in the Czech Republic for a few days after leaving Ukraine. Find out what the two fighters said and Dvořák’s current position in the UFC and when he plans another matchup.
David, did you get to hang out with Oleksander Usyk, the heavyweight boxing champion, what were you talking about?
Usyk makes a pleasant impression on me. He’s a nice guy, modest and who plays for nothing. Although he can, depending on what’s behind him. We talked about training and what he does. It shows that he is an educated person. He thinks about what he does and educates himself. He made a huge impression on me.
Did you exchange tips?
I gave him no advice (laughs). I rather perceived what he said to me, and I drew something from it for me.
Can you be specific?
I may have found it interesting that he watches each of his matches eight times. I watch mine twice, for example, and get feedback from the coaches. He looks at them several times, always writing one or two mistakes. He never intentionally works on what he does, only on those mistakes.
Source: with the consent of David Dvořák
ForWhat surprised you the most?
That he studies a lot, reads a lot. He is interested in psychology and does psychological experiments. It surprised me.
Usyk came to the Czech Republic from Ukraine, where he helped defend the homeland against Russian troops. Did you talk about it too?
I asked him that I couldn’t imagine training and at the same time perceiving that what was happening at home was happening. Especially in training for such big matches, where the head is extremely important. He said praying helped him a lot. He also does not follow the news or read the newspaper, he simply calls acquaintances and friends on the front line so as not to have distorted information.
Usyka faces revenge and defends the titles with Anthony Joshua. How do you see their second game?
It won’t be so objective now because I met him and we had a great time. I will honestly say that I am a big fan of Tyson Fury (WBC champion). He is number one for me. Usyk is a great boxer, he already beat Joshua once and I see no reason why he shouldn’t beat him again. Joshua doesn’t impress me that much. I took him before his first game with Ruiz, but the game showed that was not the case. Then he failed with Usyk. The second thing is that Usyk really has it on his mind.
David, let’s come to you. You came back from the USA, where you fell in the UFC with Matheus Nicolau. What do you think of the first defeat in ten years?
I’m sorry and I always will be. There is nothing to do. I have to accept it and bite it. Take as much as you can so it doesn’t happen again. The feeling that I lost 1-2 on the wheels is terrible. It was a tight loss. It will take me some time, but I will get over it soon. I will gather healthy and return to the winning wave.
ForSo, is a close loss on points (29-28) emotionally worse than finishing before the limit?
Definitely not. He knocked me out in the second round when I went down. I struggled a lot, but I was able to come back, fight and I still want to get the wins on my side. I don’t have to be ashamed of this conclusion, on the contrary, to fall into it and not return to the game is something I would regret.
A front hand hook sent you to the ground, which probably decided the match. Did you know the weapon of this adversary?
We knew it, we were preparing for it. We practiced a lot on the left hook. I tried to keep my hands upstairs, but the blow hit the top of my head where no one ever has cover. I could have avoided, let myself go, but it didn’t happen and that reassured me.
What happened to you at such a time?
His hand flew into my head, it was the first time. Then I had a dream as if I was sleeping at night. But I don’t remember what. Just a ringing, a dream and then I lie on the ground. He kicked me again giving me another kick. I grabbed him, tied him up and left to survive. But I don’t remember what I dreamed.
I understand that there was not a good atmosphere in the dressing rooms after the match. But according to reports, your manager and wrestler Patrik Kincl kicked you again. What did he tell you at the difficult time?
Everyone on my team knows what it’s like to lose. I know it from the past. Patrik left me in the locker room and said to me in the bedroom: ‘Go to the locker room, to the shower, wash everything and that’s it.’ I did and now we’re going to do it again.
What are your plans now?
I have a severe concussion, I have cerebral CTE and I still have magnetic resonance imaging. Friday, I fly to Motol, where they will see me again. There are legs that are also quite broken. I’m not allowed to do anything until Sunday, but from Monday I would like to come back slowly – mobility, cycling, swimming, basic things to work the body.
Putin ? No need for me to tell him anything, says boxer Usyk
ForDo you already have an estimate of when you would like to return to the UFC game?
We have already talked about that. We have to eliminate the errors and work on that. But the horizon is September, October this year. That would be ideal. As my opponent was well above me in the rankings, the defeat did not move me or bring me down. Again, I’m going to look for someone between the thirteenth and the seventh. It will still be a difficult match, but for me it is a motivation to move on.
Note red. – Dvořák currently sits in tenth place on the flyweight ladder
You signed a new contract with the organization before the match. Did your position in the UFC change with the loss?
I got much better financial conditions, the situation has improved. When I looked at my salary, I’m better off than Askar Askarov, who fought for a chance to challenge the champion. The shift is there and we see that the UFC respects us on the one hand, on the other hand they can fire us at any time. So it was with this match, take it or pack up and go. I don’t think the situation has deteriorated in any way. If I won, it would be better, but I still have three matches in my contract that I will play.
You mention several injuries, they go hand in hand in every game and it must be a blow for your body. Are you coping with your long-term health condition? After all, MMA isn’t the smoothest sport…
I keep it in mind. That’s also why I don’t have four matches a year. There are guys who want to wrestle every month. I have a frequency of two to four matches per year. It’s for a lot of reasons – the training is extremely demanding, you fight with the best in the world, I have to travel a lot and keep improving and nowhere do I go, I don’t get anything for free. I have 24 matches behind me, that is, 24 lifters, a lot of accidents and all around. So I don’t feel the need to have as many fights as people who have fifty, a hundred fights, with the body falling apart at forty. I want to actively fight for about six years, then take care of my family.