‘Dynamite’ Tauru prepared for explosive clash with ‘flashy’ Tait
By JJ SADDINGTON
The town of Kouvola, Finland, is home to the Repovesi National Park, the western terminal of the Trans-Siberian Railway, and a population of around 88,000. One of those inhabitants is Cage Warriors Fighting Championship bantamweight world title contender Toni “Dynamite” Tauru (9-1-1).
Despite being the most sparsely populated country in the European Union, Finland has produced a surprising number of MMA standouts in recent times, with both Mikael Silander and Joni Salovaara having fought for CWFC world titles in 2013.
Though both men came up short in their respective title bids, Tauru is hoping fortune will favour the Finnish at CWFC 72 in Wales on Saturday, and has no doubts about it being his time to shine, as he told CageWarriors.com.
“My manager called me and asked if I was interested in fighting for the title. I was like: ‘Hell yeah, I’m ready for the shot.’ I think that my solid winning streak and good performance at CWFC 66 earned me this opportunity.”
That good performance came at Copenhagen’s Ballerup Arena in March, where Tauru collected a sixth submission victory, stopping Martin Akhtar in the first round via rear-naked choke.
It was a breakout performance, and one that earned him his shot at the vacant 135lbs strap. The only obstacle standing between Tauru and CWFC gold is fellow bantamweight challenger Cory Tait (8-2), someone Tauru has made himself familiar with.
“I always scout my opponents and build my training based on that,” Tauru said. “He will throw his flashy stand-up techniques and he has solid wrestling, but I’m prepared for this.”
Between Tauru and Tait, the pair have only gone to the judges three times in 21 professional bouts, a statistic that Tauru readily acknowledges: “My conditioning means I can go the whole five rounds, though I don’t think it will last that long. Me and Cory are always trying to find openings to finish the fight and I think we’ll both be going for that again.”
One of the very few fighters to pull off a successful gogoplata finish in MMA, Toni Tauru could be an outside bet for a CWFC “bounty bonus” finish, but it’s not something he’s necessarily looking for during a fight. He said: “If there’s an opportunity for something, I will go for it, but my main focus is on winning the fight.”
With six of his nine wins coming by way of submission, Tauru has earned himself a reputation for being dangerous on the ground, but the 29-year-old is open to any kind of stoppage available to him.
“I don’t mind what the finish is, as long as I can get it. It’s kind of funny that most of my submissions have come via rear-naked choke. I just like to take my opponent’s back, it’s a great position to control.”
A nine-fight unbeaten streak - punctuated by six straight submission victories - has put the Finn in a prime position in the stacked CWFC bantamweight division, but there’s no shortage of viable contenders for whoever takes the belt this weekend.
So, why the “Dynamite” monicker?
“It’s a little bit to do with my name - ‘TNT’ - Toni Tauru,” he explained. “But it also says something about my fighting style. I often have an easy start, but when we start to bang, I go all in. I’ve always liked things that give you a good adrenaline rush. I actually took a parachute jump a while ago and it was awesome.”
Toni Tauru and Cory Tait fight for the CWFC bantamweight world title at CWFC 72 at the Newport Centre in Newport, Wales, this Saturday, September 13. Click HERE for ticket details and further information.
Photo: Dolly Clew | Cage Warriors
Search Videos & Photos
Cage Warriors 72: Review
Event: Cage Warriors 72
Venue: Newport Centre, Newport, Wales
Cage Warriors 71: Review
Event: Cage Warriors 71
Venue: King Hussein Boxing Arena, Amman, Jordan