Will Marcus be able to keep his head cool and smooth game together or will the Armenian thunderstorm Gago Drago turn the lights out for Marcus?
|Marcus ÖbergMarcus is born and raised in the suburbs of Sweden’s third largest city Malmö. As a youngster he mostly practitioned ball sports such as soccer and basketball and he was considered by many as a multi talent. At the age of 17 Marcus joined his first ever Thai boxing club, Malmö Muay Thai and now one decade later he is still there and he has evolved in to one of the biggest Swedish MuayThai talents of all time. In 2006 Marcus captured his first Swedish MuayThai Championship title (-75 kg ) and he managed to repeat that achievement in 2008 ( -71 kg ). The same year Marcus entered the K-1 MAX northern qualification tournament in Stockholm well aware of the fact that a win in the tournament would change his life forever. At the event Marcus fought himself to a convincing decision win over the fellow Swede Mattias Karlsson in the first fight. In the semi-final Marcus had a very close battle against the Contender Asia star Joakim ” Yukay” Karlsson but managed to pick up the win after an extra round. In the final Marcus faced off with the brutal slugger Dzhabar Askerov in a fight that was all about heart and glory. The two opening rounds was fought in an insane pace by Askerov who knew that he was fighting on borrowed time due to a deep cut above his right eye. Marcus stood his ground and in the third round the ring doctor stopped the fight for the sake of Askerov’s health. By winning the tournament Marcus had not only realized a big dream and earned a lot of money, he also qualified himself for both the K-1 MAX final 16 and the upcoming season two of the Contender Asia TV series. Marcus ended that very same year with participating at the IFMA Amateur World Muay Thai Championships in Busan where he managed to win the bronze medal.
This year Marcus has only fought one fight and it was the bad blooded rematch against Dhzabar Askerov who claimed that he would have knocked Marcus out in the first fight if it would not have been stopped due to the cut. Their second meeting turned out to be just as exciting as their first fight and once again Marcus stood as the winner in the end. By yet again beating Askerov Marcus proved both to himself and the rest of the world that he indeed is the better fighter and that he deserved the 2008 tournament win. As this article is being written Marcus is preparing himself for the Contender Asia witch is due to restart shooting on the 24th of September in Malaysia.
Marcus is a true master at putting together combinations and he does it with precision. The right cross followed by a left hook and knee attack is one of his favourites. Marcus long limbs are perfectly suited for counter fighting and he likes to keep some distance to his opponent but he does not hesitate to stand and trade at a shorter distance as well when necessary. Marcus ring intelligence combined with his great footwork often keeps him one step ahead of his opponent and also often out of harms way.
Ups and Downs
+ Solid defence
+ Well rounded
– Drops his guard when tired
Record and titles
23 Wins – 4 Losses – 0 Draw – 6 KO’s
IFMA World Championship Bronze medallist A-Class 2008 Busan
Drago is originally from Armenia but at a young age he and his father emigrated to the Netherlands due to war related issues. In the Netherlands he became acquaint with the sport of kickboxing and he joined his first club, gym Alkmaar at the age of 14. At this club he quickly earned both technical skills and a solid reputation as a future prospect. In 2002 Drago won his first big title as he became the Benelux Muay Thai Champion and one year later he also captured the WMTC European title. With these big achievements in his backpack and a confidence of gold Drago then went on a four year and 23 fight’s unbeaten winning streak. Obviously and well deserved Drago then rapidly climbed all of the worlds Muay Thai rankings lists and he also secured a contract with K-1 MAX and on the 6 of April 2006 Drago made his K-1 debut at the K-1 World MAX 2006 World Tournament Open. His opponent was the very experienced Danish Muay Thai expert Ole Laursen. Drago was clearly nervous in the first round and looked somewhat overwhelmed by the fact that he was fighting at the biggest stand up fighting stage in the world. But in the second round Drago found his pace and started to attack Ole with hooks and kicks which lead to that Ole received a standing eight count. Drago then kept up the high pace thru out the fight and won a unanimous decision win after three rounds. Drago’s win over Ole placed him among the top 8 fighters in the K-1 MAX division and also qualified him for the tournament final. At the final itself Drago fought and beat the former K-1 MAX Champion Albert Kraus in an impressive fashion in the first fight but then lost a decision victory to the two time Champion Buakaw Por Pramuk in the semi-final. After the loss to Buakaw Drago once again went on an winning streak, this time seven fight’s and six of them where wins by knockout. Since 2007 Drago has been a frequent participator in both K-1 MAX and the Netherland based It’s Showtime and he has defeated top rated fighter’s such as Warren Stevelmans, Luis Reis, William Diender and Yuya Yamamoto.
Drago’s fighting style can only be described as aggressive, very aggressive. He likes to take command of the fight and always put his opponent under hard pressure with boxing combinations at the cost of his own defence. Heart and guts is the key ingridience in his style and also a big part of his success and popularity among the fans. He has a big variety of hard attacking moves and the right leg spinning back kick has proven its efficiency several times. Many fighters has tried to stand and trade with Drago but his 32 knockout wins seems like solid proof that it isn’t a good idea.
Ups and downs
+ Knockout power
+ Very high pace combined with great stamina
– Puts his chin on the line
Record and titles
65 wins – 13 losses – 4 draw – 2 no contest – 32 KO’s
2003 WMTC European Muay Thai champion
This is matchmaking at its best, the classic battle between the smooth technician versus the brutal aggressor. For Marcus this will be one of the most difficult task yet in his career but also a good opportunity to establish himself among the top fighters in the world. The very offensive and powerful Drago will undoubtedly test every corner of Marcus defence in search for a weakness and an opportunity to end the fight with a knockout. Will Marcus be able to keep his head cool and smooth game together or will the Armenian thunderstorm Gago Drago turn the lights out for Marcus? Nothing is certain but all answers will be given on the 20th of November in Stockholm Hovet.
Text av Daniel Hol, Fans of K-1