Ernesto Hoost is the man who needs no introduction. We had an opportunity to catch up with him right after Fedor's seminar in the Netherlands in March. Here is the interview with the legend of the sport.
Michael Mazur: How do you think why K-1 is so popular here in the Netherlands. If you compare it with other countries there are 12 K-1 World Grand Prix champions out of 15 coming out of the Netherlands. Whatís the reason of it?
Ernesto Hoost: Well, striking kind of sport was introduced and popularized here about 25-30 years ago. The way people taught us how to train and fight was very important. The Full Contact sport grew, too. You see the same with MMA now. It all started back in late 70-s with Kick and Muay Thai.
Michael: And then it exploded...
Ernesto Hoost: Well, itís popular now although Iíd like to see it more on TV.
Michael: How famous are you here in the Netherlands. You are 4-x K-1 World Grand Prix Champion but do people recognize you on the street?
Ernesto Hoost: People recognize me and ask me to sign an autograph or make a photo. But Iím not as popular as say soccer players. Thereís a huge difference between soccer, cycling, tennis and fighting as itís not televised that much.
Michael: But is it gaining more popularity? Is it moving towards being more televised on major networks here in the Netherlands?
Ernesto Hoost: Well, only K-1 hits the TV on SBS but still they broadcast it 6 times a year.
Michael: It could be better.
Ernesto Hoost: Well yes, but also K-1 is more entertaining and the level is pretty high. If you go to a local event then the level is a bit lower so I can understand it, too.
Michael: Whatís your opinion about late Ruslan Karaevís performance?
Ernesto Hoost: Ruslan started very well. Heís an explosive, interesting and exciting fighter. I think K-1 made him too important for themselves right away. They let him fight everybody. They wouldnít let him recover enough from a KO. And I think that ruined his career. Personally, I think he wonít be as good as he couldíve been.
Michael: So heíll never come back...
Ernesto Hoost: I donít say heíll never come back. But if you lose 3-4 times in a row thatís just too much. Thatís f**king up your brain too much.
Michael: Is it possible to recover after such hard KOís?
Ernesto Hoost: I donít know. Itís different for everybody. But mentally itís quiet hard as well. Youíve been knocked-out so many times in a row and itís not good for your confidence. I believe heís one of the biggest talents in K-1. He shouldíve been far more careful with building his career. They shouldíve protected him against himself. Because as a fighter you are always ready to return to the ring but others must tell you when itís better not to fight at all. They never did that.
Michael: Do you have enemies in the Martial Arts world?
Ernesto Hoost: No. Well, I donít like some people but no enemies.
Michael: Do you watch MMA on regular basis?
Ernesto Hoost: Yeah, I try to watch it quite regularly. I watch for example UFC and prior to it I used to watch Pride.
Michael: Are you coming tomorrow for Slamm Ė M-1 Challenge?
Ernesto Hoost: Iím not sure but I hope so.
Michael: Do you have a favorite movie?
Ernesto Hoost: The Bourne trilogy. Also I like Highlander with Christopher Lambert.
Michael: Any favorite book?
Ernesto Hoost: I read quite a lot. My taste changes. Iíve just finished reading the book called ďTokio ZeroĒ. Itís about some murderer in post World War II Japan. What I like about the book is that it takes place in Tokio and lots of places mentioned there are the places Iíve actually been to.
Michael: And a favorite singer?
Ernesto Hoost: John Legend.
Michael: Would you star in a movie?
Ernesto Hoost: I would. There were some negotiations about it but Iíve not heard anything about it recently.
Michael: Have you ever been to a street fight?
Ernesto Hoost: It happened a couple times long time ago in my career.
Michael: Nowadays people donít want to mess with you, right?
Ernesto Hoost: You never know. But Iím not looking for it as well, you know. If you donít need troubles they wonít come to you.
Michael: Thank you very much for the interview.
Ernesto Hoost: Youíre always welcome.