Soren Bak went from the lowest point of his career to being on the verge of fighting for the Cage Warriors’ lightweight title after just two fights with the promotion.
A win over former title contender Alexander Jacobsen at Cage Warriors 93 will solidify his status as the No. 1 contender at 155 pounds. And if all goes according to plan, the Dane expects to get his shot at the belt in Liverpool this September.
“We can say that it will be Liverpool,” Bak told MMA Fighting shortly after he arrived in Gothenburg. “If we win this fight, we’re going to go for the title in September.”
The promotion’s biggest star, Paddy Pimblett, earmarked Bak as a potential title opponent following his spectacular return to the win column in his lightweight debut at Cage Warriors 90. Knowing that the last person who beat Pimblett, Nad Narimani, was eventually signed by the UFC, it’s no surprise that “True Viking” has been seeking a bout with the outspoken Liverpudlian.
“Being called out was great because we were looking for Paddy for some time actually. He’s a great name and I’m glad he moved up to lightweight because he’s always been a guy to look out for. That’s a fight we’re very interested in,” Bak said.
Before putting his division on notice with two one-sided wins over Scott Clist and top ranked UK campaigner Martin Stapleton, Bak felt he reached one of the most challenging times of his young career after tasting defeat for the first time. To make matters worse, the promotion he was signed to, Euro FC, ceased to exist shortly after the loss, leaving him in limbo.
After being inactive for six months, Bak completely overwhelmed Clist in his Cage Warriors debut. In hindsight, he thinks his loss and the subsequent downfall of Euro FC was “healthy” as he looked to make an impact under a new banner.
“When I lost that fight I had no injuries whatsoever, so I was back in training almost the day after. Even after I had lost there was no one willing to fight me. Then, the promotion that I was fighting for, Euro FC, went bankrupt. That was February, so it wasn’t until then that I could look for a new contract.
“I guess you could say it was a low point. It’s funny really because it was really motivating at first because I didn’t think I lost that fight — I thought that I was still in it. I wanted to get back in there but there was nothing available so I was able to reflect on it for about six months and figure out what I was going to do.
“I think it was healthy,” he said.
Given the dominance he displayed in his first two Cage Warriors tests, Bak was surprised that Pimblett called for a fight with him following his successful return to the cage.
“I really don’t know why he called me out. I guess he just wanted to fight and he saw me as the strongest name that was available. He knows that I’m a top contender and he’s moving up. He probably thinks this fight makes a lot of sense for the title.”
As far as he’s concerned, he’s well prepared for anything that Pimblett can bring to the table, including his signature flying submissions.
“We’re stronger in the striking and wrestling departments. He could try to throw that flying triangle armbar on me if he wants, and I’ll just smash the sh*t out of him. There’s no way he’d hit that on me. He’s going to get elbows to the face if he tries that, but he does have his strengths so I think a lot of people would like to see that fight.”
Despite the Pimblett heavy conversation, Bak is constantly reminding people that he must take care of business in Gothenburg before he gets his crack at title glory, with or without “The Baddy”.
His CWFC 93 opponent, Jacobsen, underlined his own claim to the title with a 14-second knockout of Lawrence Fitzpatrick in his last outing, and Bak is quite aware of the momentum the Norwegian can take from him when they meet.
“He’s got a big opportunity because if he performs against me then he is right back in it. I think he is going in to try to pull off something big, of course that’s what he is going for.”
With a lot on the line ahead of the fight, Bak underlined that he is putting no extra pressure on himself to get a finish on Saturday night.
“I don’t think I need to finish this fight, but I’m always looking for it, Cage Warriors doesn’t pay us for overtime,” he quipped. “I’m always trying to grind my opponents down so I can get the finish. If I don’t get it, it’s still a very tough experience for the guy that I’m fighting, so either way I’ll be happy once I get the win.”