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Great Dane Dalby hoping to continue his meteoric rise


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By JJ Saddington

”...I look at all MMA fighters in a more cynical way because I’m always trying to analyse what they’re doing right or wrong…”

Those outside of the European MMA scene may not be familiar with the name Nicolas ‘Sharpshooter’ Dalby, but that’s all set to change on Saturday, March 22, when Cage Warriors Fighting Championship heads to Copenhagen’s Ballerup Super Arena in Denmark for CWFC 66.

Headlining the event is a welterweight title tussle between hometown favourite Dalby (11-0) and Ukraine’s Sergei Churilov (15-1) for the vacant CWFC welterweight title. Win or lose, the Dane is looking to put on an entertaining fight for the fans in the arena and the viewers at home.

Unbeaten in all 11 of his professional bouts to date, Dalby is the model image of a modern-day mixed martial artist, with as many wins by KO as submission.

“I feel like a truly all-round MMA fighter; I can box, kick, I can do some wrestling and BJJ,” Dalby says, although he’s certainly not averse to scoring a highlight-reel finish. “Of course it’s always the most exciting to win by way of a spectacular KO, but if I see a submission I’ll absolutely go for it.”

Citing Chuck Liddell as an early MMA hero, and Mark Hunt as someone who has “the ability to bring out the pure fan in me again,” Dalby has his inspirations, but he doesn’t directly attribute his own skill-set to anyone in particular.

“I try to pick out the stuff that I feel will work for me instead of blindly having one special fighter as a kind of ‘god’. Now I look at all MMA fighters in a more cynical way because I’m always trying to analyse what they’re doing right or wrong in fights.”

Starting out in karate, initially as a way to deal with bullies, Dalby eventually made the move into MMA in order “to try something more challenging”. From there on, his progression to the top of the European circuit was positively meteoric.

“Fast, is how I would sum it up,” he says. “I had my first professional fight in March 2010 and, more or less three years after, I won my tenth fight, which was a first for any Danish MMA fighter.

“I also broke the record for the fastest KO in Scandinavia, with a six-second fight, so it’s been an intense ride.”

‘The Sharpshooter’, a documentary following Nicolas Dalby in the build-up to Cage Warriors 66, is released this Monday, March 17. Watch the trailer below…

Eleven fights into his career and turning 30 later this year, Dalby is a relative latecomer to the sport: “I don’t really stress over my age,” explains the 29-year-old, who recognises the distinction between age and time spent in the cage.

“I think how hard and long a fighter has been fighting says more than age does. Just take a look at Shogun Rua, who is just two years older than me but looks like he is pretty much done.”

Nobody is more aware than Dalby of the importance of his upcoming fight with Churilov and the significance of the Cage Warriors Fighting Championhip welterweight belt.

“I see Cage Warriors as the most well-known and prestigious European MMA promotion, without doubt,” Dalby says. “So I’m really honoured to be fighting for the title.”

His message to the Danish fans ahead of his shot at CWFC gold a week on Saturday is simple: “I hope to see as many of you as possible in Ballerup Super Arena on March 22. I’ll promise to give Churilov everything I have. And a little more!”

Cage Warriors 66 takes place at the Ballerup Super Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday, March 22. Tickets are available to purchase HERE.

Photo: Palle Schultz

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