Artem Levin has been the number one fighter on our Liverkick.com Light Heavyweight Rankings for quite some time now. Arguably one of the top pound for pound fighters in the sport if you play that game, he's dominated his opposition for the past few years. He has a fight coming up on March 3 in Russia and another one on March 31. We got the chance to talk to Artem about a plethora of subjects, including his upcoming fights, why he fights the way he does and his future in the sport.
LiverKick: Your next fight is on March 3 against Cheick Sidibe. What do you know about your opponent?
Artem Levin: I’m watching his fight videos. He’s a persistent guy. He’s accenting on knees, using his height, but doesn’t take punches to the head well. He’s characterful. We will see what it is going to be.
LiverKick: Simon Marcus and Joe Schilling are fighting soon. Both of them would like to fight you and Joe Schilling is the interim champion to your world title belt. Will you be keeping an eye on that fight?
Artem Levin: Yes, sure. They are interesting to me. It is expected to be one of the most important fights in career for both. They are looking forward for the next fights. I’m following the things concerned with this fight. It’s going to be a bomb as both don’t recognize a menace in another. Simon has next fight versus Kaoklai on March 16th, and Joe has next fight versus me on March 31st. Let them define the things between them, and I’m always ready to fight both. You are welcome. Click "Read More."
LiverKick: You've recently fought as low as 77kg and as high as 82.5kg. Is it hard to go down to 77kg and would you go up even higher in weight?
Artem Levin: It is always hard to drop weight, but I’m doing nothing that could be impossible. I know my body, I know how to recover to be in shape before a fight. Thus, it’s not a problem to me. As for gaining weight, there are rumors about of a Golden Glory Grand Prix at 85 kg. I’d be glad to take part and pump up muscles.
LiverKick: You like to have fun in the ring, taunting and playing with your opponents. Were you inspired by anyone to fight like this?
Artem Levin: I think, that you are not to imitate or copy someone in the ring. The manner has to be individual and comfortable for you and your physical ability. I’ve grown up watching fights of Roy Jones Jr., Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard. Those men liked to have fun in the ring. Probably, it has left a mark on my style. They are role models for young people, and I’m happy that they are our contemporaries and I’m living in one time with them.
LiverKick: Do you prefer to fight in Kickboxing or Muay Thai?
Artem Levin: I have no preferences in between these two sports. I’m comfortable at both. What's important is motivation, then it’s going to be hot and fun. But Muay Thai is a complete culture and even, so to say, religion, and it’s my native sport, thus, it’s more close to my heart.
LiverKick: You've also done one fight in pro Boxing. How was the experience of only being able to punch?
Artem Levin: There was a journeyman, but I liked it as I’ve tried something unusual and new for me.
LiverKick: Liverkick.com has you as the #1 fighter in the world at light heavyweight. How do you feel about being thought of as one of the best fighters in the world by many people?
Artem Levin: It has nothing to do with my own ranking. And to be top fighter for myself I have to do a lot and undoubtedly I have to meet those gentlemen mentioned above. I place myself at the beginning of the way.
LiverKick: In Russia, Kickboxing and Muay Thai seem to be getting more popular lately. Have you noticed this?
Artem Levin: I’m following all the news on martial arts, not only bouts, but Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing and MMA development and popularization.
LiverKick: Are you able to make a comfortable living by fighting?
Artem Levin: Yes, as far as I win my fees are rising. By winning over good opponents I earn a good name. For now it’s alright.
LiverKick: You're only 25 years old and already have a lot of fights. What are your plans for the future in your fighting career?
Artem Levin: I’m 25 already. I’m putting my aims high. I want to gather the main Muay Thai belts. We shall see how things turn out. The main aim is to fight the best.