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A TYPICAL UNDERDOG? # Armwrestling #

The long-awaited Paweł Gawenda's interview with Alex, straight from Armfight Piaseczno's website! Enjoy! ()

P.G: Welcome, Mr Alex!

Alex Kurdecha: Hello, hello, Paweł!

P.G: Congratulations on your win!

A.K: Thank you, to the entire Armfight Piaseczno team.

P.G: You did what not many have expected, you beat Ermes Gasparini...

A.K: Sorry to interrupt you but I'm in this one Facebook group and one of my friends forgot that I'm there; another friend asked how he thought the duel would go. And this one guy called Paweł said that Ermes will probably win but maybe Alex will give us a round like the Mask...

P.G: Uhhh... I think you might be mistaken...

A.K: …And then this other friend whose name is Artur said that you probably forgot that Alex is in that group and can see everything. And, suddenly, the result that the other friend expected changed to 6:0 for Alex.

P.G: Nooo, Alex, you must have confused the guys... You must have been mistaken...

A.K: Haha, perhaps... Alright, so what was the question?

P.G: What I'm saying is: you didn't just win with Ermes, you crushed him completely! So the question: how did you feel after the fight and did you expect this turn of events?

A.K: Of course, there is always some sort of plan for every duel, the most important thing is not just the mindset for the duel itself but your preparation for it... I could practise for this duel for about 2 weeks, the thing is I only got the message that I will fight two weeks prior. Of course, I won't get to my peak form in this sort of time. I quickly decided to pick up the fight in my not-best form but I never underestimated Ermes, about 90% people bet that I would lose...

P.G: Right, so what kind of mental approach did you have for this duel? One that nothing will happen if you lose or rather that you're expecting to win?

A.K: Well, first of all I was very positive about it because many thought Ermes to be the 3rd best world armwrestler so losing to him would be no shame. And that's why I wasn't worried about the result, there was no pressure, I had nothing to lose and I just wanted to do me. I had various scenarios in mind, I had a few ideas for the duel itself. You could see that I fought differently with Ryan Espey or Sporrong. Gasparini tried to use his best tricks, so the lock, wrist and his fingers which are very strong, in the fight with me. He used it everytime, up to the fourth round, when he tried to get into the hook and I opened him up with a top roll... But in the end Ermes is really strong, if I was to fight him a year ago, I think he would have crushed me instead and he wouldn't have even noticed.

P.G: Tell me, is your win with Ermes your biggest victory so far? You had some duels where it didn't work out too well, like with Ongarbayev, Trubin or Krasimir, but you've also won with wrestlers like Mendelson, Babayev, Sporrong or even Ermes. How do you see it?

A.K: You could say that it was the most surprising since 90% of people were with Gasparini...

P.G: So you could say you were a typical underdog?

A.K: Exactly so, yes, that's why I think that you could say that it's my biggest victory by far.

P.G: Many people are curious about the comparison of Sporring's and Ermes's strength, you fought them both, so tell me, who's stronger and who's weaker in what aspects?

A.K: Let me tell you, I don't want to share too many secrets because I respect every competitor but above anything I think the duel between them could be very interesting. In some aspects, Ermes is stronger than Tobias, but on the other hand, Sporrong has some more strength than Gasparini. The deciding factor would probably be who would dictate the style of the battle. Both of them are in great shape and have improved a lot through the pandemic.

P.G: But Tobias has the upper hand with his physicals, right? That's one hell of a guy...

A.K: Tobias has gained a lot now, he's really massive, he weighs about 135kg, he's very tall and his hands are huge...

P.G: ... And a contrasting face of a young junior, right? Body of a beast and a very young face.

A.K: Yeah, he looks young but his arm is enormous. You can tell he spends a lot of time at the gym.

P.G: He also is very young, isn't he? Year 1998...?

A.K: That's right, he's about 23-24, a huge potential. The guy is also very ambitious and diligent, he takes it all very seriously, I see a bright future in front of him.

P.G: Yes, the guy has some nice physical conditions, such strength at such an age... His left arm is also very strong, maybe even stronger than his right one.

A.K: That's true, he will be a phenomenal armwrestler.

P.G: Tell me, if you had to compare the Alex from the duel with Gasparini to the Alex who lost to Ongarbayev, Trubin and Krasimir – what happened? What's with this sudden change that caused you to win Vendettas regularly?

A.K: First of all, it's hard to compare the 2019 Alex with the 2021 Alex. Even with the strength exercises I can see a positive change, but most of all, there's a huge difference in my duel mindset. I understand my body, what's important during training for me, and what's even more important. I know why I'm doing each exercise and how it's going to help me. I think this is the biggest difference, the fact that I got to know my body and I know what will work and how it will show at the table.

P.G: You're also talking about your mindset?

A.K: ... Not really, it's rather understanding myself. Understanding my biomechanics and what's strong in me. Understanding my predispositions and how to put it all on the table. How to eliminate certain mistakes that I keep making. Understanding what might be the most important at the given moment, to strengthen the wrist or my fingers. Even a mere 5kg can impact the result of a duel greatly.

P.G: So, to put it short, you got to know your body and started doing what's best for you?

A.K: Exactly that, yes.

P.G: Look, you won the duel and now you're in the Top 4!

A.K: Right, I'm now between the Top 4 world armwrestlers.

P.G: Now athletes that you can fight are Laletin, Levan and the winner of the Prudnik vs Bresnan duel. Tell me, which one of them would you like to fight?

A.K: I have received this question many times after the fight with Ermes and my response is that with all of them. I see all of them as equals and would love to try myself with any of them.

P.G: I understand, one more question: you shave your forehead and lift your hairline with every win? Does it give you strength? Or how does it work?

A.K: Haha, exactly, the forehead grows and gives me strength. The forehead is a symbol of wisdom. As you can see, Boguś Zdanowski once had long hair in the front and he wasn't as strong as he is now. He won or lost some Vendettas, but he only became the vice-champion of Poland when he became bald, haha.

P.G: So I can write that you're inspired by Boguś?

A.K: I'm not sure if he isn't the one inspired by me but let's say so, yes. There is some tendency, there are stats that prove this.

P.G: So maybe this tip should be passed to other wrestlers so that they, too, can improve?

A.K: Exactly, I'm thinking about our athletes that could do that and Artur Rytel is close.

P.G: Listen – I've been shaving my head for quite some time now but I'm not seeing such progress... Maybe I'm shaving wrong? Against the direction of growth or in the wrong direction in general?

A.K: Might be, you have to analyze it well!

P.G: Alright, thank you for your advice and time, Alex. Good luck in your future fights!

A.K: Thank you as well for this enjoyable interview, greetings to all!

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